THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The plan to set up Smart Vending Zone at RKV Lane has faced a major setback with residents protethe project. The residents are unhappy with the design that focuses on setting up vending kiosks. They said it would adversely affect traffic. Residents have approached the mayor and the state government for intervention. The plan is to rehabilitate around 50 hawkers and vendors operating in the lane. The project is being set up for Rs 3 crore.
Hundreds of residents in the locality are depending on the road for daily commutate, said Kanakanagar Residents’ Association president P Gopakumar. “This project is being planned unscientifically without studying the traffic movement. There are two apartment complexes with more than 150 families in the locality. Even fire tenders cannot access the area if there are any emergencies. They are setting up the kiosks on the middle of the road,” said P Gopakumar.
The Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (SCTL) is setting up the vending zone using 80 metres of the lane. As part of the project, the narrow footpaths in the lane would be widened and half of it would be demarcated for traffic. The shops being set up will be facing each other on one side of the lane and there will be a walkway in between.
The lane is infamous for haphazard parking and the residents have raised numerous complaints in the past. Former town planning committee chairman and Palayam ward councillor Palayam Rajan said there will be ample space for traffic movement on the stretch in future.
“The project will not hinder traffic flow. The shops are coming up on one side of the lane. Earlier the shops were located on both sides of the stretch. All overhead utility lines are being moved to the underground duct,” Rajan said.
He said many tourists park their vehicles in the lane while visiting the museum and the Kanakakunnu Palace. “The multi-level parking complex at the corporation will become operational in a few days and will resolve the parking issue. The SCTL is planning to set up another multi-level parking facility at the public office complex. These facilities are near RKV lane and will solve the parking menace in the area,” said Rajan.
He said plans are on to provide parking for tourist buses and heavy vehicles at Thycaud or Jagathy.
“Earlier we had planned to shift parking for heavy vehicles to these locations with the help of the police,” he added. A senior official of SCTL said work is progressing at the location. “Currently, the work is progressing to relocate the overhead cables to underground ducts. As per the schedule, the project is expected to be completed by February 2022,” the official added.