Will put end to Thrikkakara’s traffic woes, apathy of officials if elected MLA: Autorickshaw driver

He chuckles at the thought of getting to be an MLA for 24 hours.

Published: 24th May 2022 07:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2022 06:39 PM   |  A+A-

Joseph Laibin at the Vyttila Mobility Hub autorickshaw stand | Krishna P S

Express News Service

KOCHI: Joseph Laibin, an autorickshaw driver at Vyttila, remains engrossed in a vernacular newspaper even as campaign vehicles of parties criss-cross the area, belting out remixed songs seeking votes for their respective candidates in the upcoming Thrikkakara bypoll. “Yes, of course, I am excited about the elections, which are always thrilling. But in the end, it is going to be the same old story, right? Look at this newspaper, people’s woes remain the same. You reporters know better,” says Joseph, 41, who has been an autorickshaw driver for seven years.  

He chuckles at the thought of getting to be an MLA for 24 hours. Then, overcoming sheepishness, he proclaims: “If I get a chance, I would first focus on solving the traffic congestion.” A resident of Ponnurunni in Vyttila, Joseph belongs to the stand near the mobility hub. “The traffic in this part of the city is a mess. From Kakkanad to Vyttila, Kadavanthra, and Palarivattom, traffic blocks have become a regular affair; people have become hopeless. We need a concrete plan, and traffic police units should be posted in multiple shifts, at least at Vyttila.”

At the Vyttila bypass, the traffic signals are managed manually, he adds. “So, even if the timer shows zero seconds, and you start your vehicle, the signal remains red at times, as the officer in charge missed it. This creates a lot of confusion,” says Joseph. Now, Joseph is in his element. “Roads would be another priority area. There are a lot of development projects coming up. But are our roads good enough? For instance, everyone ignores the road towards Infopark. When Infopark reopens completely, the road — which is wide enough for just two vehicles — will see traffic snarl-ups. I will widen such roads. I will ensure something is done about just traffic blocks.” 

Waste management is another subject of concern, he says. “The careless attitude has to change. For instance, waste is being taken to Brahmapuram in open vehicles. I often see sacks of waste falling on the roads, sometimes right in front of my vehicle.” As dark grey clouds gather menacingly over our heads, Joseph vows to tackle the issue of waterlogging. “Every year, , the roads get submerged within hours of rain. I will end the apathy of officials,” says Joseph as he gears up for his next trip.


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