THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It’s going to be a month since Thakaraparambu flyover opened, but as it has done little to untie the knots in city traffic, the district administration is trying to reconfigure the city’s vehicle flow. One-ways have been introduced on a trial basis in the areas near Thakaraparambu to direct traffic to the flyover.
The solutions are being reviewed regularly by a Traffic Advisory Committee chaired by the Collector. The committee meetings are attended by officials from Kerala Road Fund Board, Traffic Police and Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB)studies the feasibility of the new one-ways based on the feedback of the commuters as well as shopkeepers.
Traffic Police enforce the one-ways in the city and convey public feedback to KRFB. Traffic (South) AC S R Jyothishkumar says, “Initially, we had enforced a one-way from SP Fort Hospital to Ganapathi Temple. However, local residents complained that getting to the temple was becoming difficult. So, the committee decided to change the flow. Now, traffic flows from SP Fort, turns left around 50 m from the Ganapathi Temple, crosses Thakaraparambu road and turns right.”
There is a one-way from the exit at SP Fort Hospital to Thakaraparambu flyover, through the outer gate of Fort Mission Hospital. Vehicles leaving Thakaraparambu flyover need to take a left turn to reach SP Fort Hospital. If this runs successfully, the committee will finalise the existing one-ways within a month’s time.
There is a possibility to change traffic arrangements in other parts of the city. One of the suggestions is to direct KSRTC buses from Karamana to East Fort through Choorakkattupalayam, Power House Road and the road along Ajanta Theatre. This will ensure smoother traffic flow in Thampanoor. Those headed to the railway station can get down at th Railway’s South Gate.
The traffic could have been made even smoother had the work on the service roads under Thakaraparambu flyover got over. Beautification works and developing parking facilities under the flyover is part of City Roads Improvement Project which is carried out by Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd (TRDCL). But the work has hit a roadblock primarily because of the delay in laying JICA pipeline from MG Road to Thakaraparambu.
While traffic is being re-directed, the officials also feel that city residents will take a while to change the routes they have been accustomed to. They hope that, in a couple of months, Thakaraparambu flyover will be what it has so far been projected as - the answer to the city’s traffic snarls.