Chaos reigns supreme at signal-less Madavana Jn in Kochi; tough time for motorists

Over a week after the bus accident at the junction, the spot remains without a traffic signal.
Vehicles from four sides attempt to get to the other end in the absence of a traffic signal system at Madavana junction, exposing them to increased risks
Vehicles from four sides attempt to get to the other end in the absence of a traffic signal system at Madavana junction, exposing them to increased risks Photo | T P Sooraj

KOCHI: The busy Madavana junction, where an accident involving an interstate private bus claimed a youth’s life around 10 days ago, remains unsafe for motorists as a new traffic signal to replace the old one that was damaged in the mishap, is yet to be installed.

Jijo Sebastian, 33, a native of Vagamon in Idukki, died when a bus owned by Kallada Travels rammed the traffic signal at the junction on the Aroor-Edappally NH66 stretch near Panangad, turned turtle and fell on him while he was waiting for the light to turn green.

Vehicles from four sides attempt to get to the other end in the absence of a traffic signal system at Madavana junction, exposing them to increased risks
One dead, thirteen injured as private bus overturns on rain-slicked Kochi highway

Over a week later, the spot remains without a traffic signal. The Kumbalam grama panchayat on Monday wrote to the Kochi police, demanding immediate measures to recover the cost of installing a new traffic signal post equipped with a countdown timer from Kallada Travels.

“The earlier signal post was set up through sponsorship. In its absence, there is complete chaos at the junction during peak hours, endangering motorists, especially two-wheeler riders,” said panchayat president K S Radhakrishnan.

“It is an accident-prone spot. We had installed the earlier post through the sponsorship of a prominent hospital nearby. Now that the old one is completely damaged, we want a new signal with countdown timers installed there at the earliest,” Radhakrishnan added.

Six months ago too, a KSRTC bus had rammed the signal post, damaging it completely. Radhakrishnan said even before that, an accident had damaged the signal. “At the time, we had petitioned the then district collector, who sanctioned the installation of a new signal after much protest. This time we do not want such delays as human lives are on the line."

When contacted, Panangad SHO Saju Antony said the police cannot directly ask the bus owner for compensation but a provision for the same has been included in the chargesheet that would be submitted before the court. “We will also submit the estimate (of the damage caused to the signal) before the court. It’s for the court to decide whether to direct the firm (Kallada Travels) to provide compensation or not."

Meanwhile, the Kochi Traffic Police has submitted a report to the Road Safety Council suggesting the government take over the maintenance of such traffic signals in key areas.

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