Proposed Enchakkal flyover in Thiruvananthapuram may get delayed

Final design of the project yet to get nod from NHAI; at least six more months needed to begin construction works
Heavy traffic block at Enchakkal junction at NH 66 bypass | file pic
Heavy traffic block at Enchakkal junction at NH 66 bypass | file pic

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The proposed flyover to decongest the busy Enchakkal junction along the NH-66 is likely to be delayed as the final design of the project is yet to get a nod from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) headquarters in New Delhi.

Though the NHAI regional office floated a tender in May for the project, the delay is likely to affect the pace of the construction work. Sources close to NHAI said it would take another six months to start the construction of the flyover. “Once we get the approval, we will start the tender proceedings. It will take at least six more months to get the ball rolling,” an NHAI official told TNIE. 

In February last year, Transport Minister Antony Raju called on Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi after getting in-principle approval for the project.  Subsequently, the Union minister directed the NHAI to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) in three months. However, the NHAI headquarters approved the (DPR) for the Enchakkal flyover in February 2023. According to the DPR, the four-lane flyover will have nine spans, each 25 metres apart.

Traffic worsens 
Traffic movement at Enchakkal junction has worsened due to the absence of a flyover or an underpass. Almost every day, a serpentine queue of vehicles can be seen on the West Fort and Attakulangara sides of the road. The traffic flow from the city to the bypass has increased considerably since the opening of LuLu Mall at Akkulam, which, in turn, has made the waiting time of motorists longer. 

As of now, a total of 10 police personnel control traffic at the junction on the West Fort side and the Vallakadavu side. Though one-way traffic through the service road is allowed at Muttathara, the rise in the number of vehicles has made commuting a nightmare during peak hours. Also, many people who come from Tamil Nadu and Neyyattinkara and are looking to go to the bypass prefer to go via Attakulangara to avoid the toll at Thiruvallam and the bottleneck at the Muttathara service road, adding to the rush.

“This is the only place on NH-66 where we get stuck in traffic. A flyover is the need of the hour, and the authorities should start the construction immediately,” said Kiran Kumar N, a techie working in Technopark.

As per the proposal, the flyover begins at the section where the Chackai flyover ends and will end where the Muttathara overpass starts on the NH66 bypass. The work on the `200 crore project is envisaged to facilitate smooth entry of vehicles from Kovalam, Shankhumukham, and Vizhinjam to the city, besides easing congestion at the junction.

Located on the busy Kazhakootam-Mukkola NH stretch, the junction is a converging point for the roads from East Fort, Vallakadavu, Attakulangara, and Pettah-Enchakkal. Earlier, the NHAI had proposed an underpass there, but the plan was scrapped after opposition from traders in the area. Since the Chackai flyover was opened to the public, the traffic congestion at Enchakkal has become a cause for concern to commuters. 

The congestion primarily happens on the service road from Chackai to Kovalam, where vehicles remain stuck for 10 to 15 minutes. That affects the movement of vehicles on other roads too. The local residents and traders are now welcoming the decision to construct the flyover.

People coming from TN adding to rush
Many people who come from Tamil Nadu and Neyyattinkara and are looking to go to the bypass prefer to go via Attakulangara to avoid the toll at Thiruvallam and the bottleneck at the Muttathara service road, adding to the rush.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com