Heavily congested Kundannoor-Thevara bridge on Wednesday
Heavily congested Kundannoor-Thevara bridge on Wednesday Photo | Akhil K S

Heavy traffic: Kundannoor-Thevara bridge doubling demand grows loud

The Ernakulam Residents Association Coordination Council (RACCO) too has demanded an immediate solution to the heavy congestion on the key stretch.

KOCHI: The calls for doubling the 1.75km Kundannoor-Thevara bridge on NH 966B has gained traction in the wake of frequent traffic congestion and road deterioration on the stretch following heavy traffic, especially that of goods carriers and container lorries.

On Wednesday morning, a fire tender rushing from the Thevara side to Kundannoor, after a school bus caught fire at the other end, got trapped in the traffic jam on the two-lane bridge.

“The fire engine simply couldn’t move ahead due to the traffic congestion. This is the case during an emergency like that of today’s. A main factor is the narrowness of the stretch and the numerous potholes that have resurfaced,” said Jayan B K, a local resident.

Maradu Municipality chairman Antony Ashanparambil pointed out that it is high time the PWD (NH Division) took up the doubling of the stretch on NH 966B (Kundannoor-Willingdon Island Road).

“Doubling of the stretch has become essential now. The stretch witnesses huge traffic, especially that of heavy vehicles like container lorries. More container handling stations are coming up, including that of businessman M A Yusuff Ali. This means the volume of heavy vehicles is set to rise further. Land is not a major issue here as the PWD NH wing had already acquired more plots than needed during the two-lane bridge construction years back,” Antony pointed out.

The Ernakulam Residents Association Coordination Council (RACCO) too has demanded an immediate solution to the heavy congestion on the key stretch.

“The Kundannoor-Thevara bridge is still a two-lane section, one of the few narrow bridges in the district. The doubling work should be taken up on a war footing. Even the Nettoor-Kundannoor parallel bridge is wider than the main bridge. This anomaly should be addressed immediately,” said RACCO district secretary K G Radhakrishnan.

NHAI speeds up proposed Port Connectivity Corridor

Meanwhile, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has initiated a series of discussions with the Cochin Port Trust to resolve the land issue and facilitate the speedy implementation of the project. The ministry of road transport and highways has already approved the project, which envisages the construction of a six-km four-lane highway, linking the NH 66 with Willingdon Island.

“The corridor will start from Nettoor and run parallel to the existing NH 966B. However, the Port Trust is yet to agree to hand over the required land. Discussions are on and we’ve made some progress during the talks,” said a senior NHAI official.

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