Police ready plan to meet spike in snarls at Edappally

Demand for underpass at the busy junction gains impetus, with new flyovers at Vyttila and Kundannoor slated to be opened soon

Foreseeing an increase in traffic snarls at Edappally Junction when the six-lane flyovers at Vyttila and Kundannoor are commissioned on Saturday, the traffic police have readied a plan to streamline flow of vehicles that converge at the junction.

“We have identified three congestion-prone areas at the junction. One among them is the point south of the junction in front of Mylalath Temple, where vehicles tend to divert from the NH Bypass and take the service road, to avoid long queue awaiting the green signal.

They create traffic hold-ups when they try to re-enter the bypass when vehicles begin moving on getting the green signal. This will not be permitted. In addition, more time might be allotted to vehicles coming from Palarivattom to Edappally Junction, to cross the junction,” said Francis Shelby, Assistant Commissioner of Police, City Traffic Police (East).

The other two bottlenecked locations are located at the gate of Lulu Mall that faces the Edappally-Varapuzha national highway and the junction north of that. Parking curbs for around 600 metres from the junction and other regulations like redirecting vehicles which want to take U-turn to the underpass of the Edapally overbridge too are on the cards, he said.

The police foresee approximately 20% increase in the number of vehicles converging at Palarivattom and Edappally from Vyttila, once the flyovers on the NH Bypass are commissioned on Saturday.

Among those who cited the possibility of traffic hold-ups worsening at Edappally include Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Babu John. “The additional influx of vehicles is likely to cause snarls at the junction. Commuters must be encouraged to avail public transport to lessen snarls at such junctions,” he said.

A necessity

While expressing concern that serpentine snarls may develop at Edappally, especially when discount sales are announced at Lulu Mall, a senior PWD official said the State government or the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) must take a call on the underpass linking the NH Bypass and the Edappally-Varapuzha NH corridor, which Metroman E. Sreedharan and many others suggested long ago, to decongest the junction.

“The junction urgently needs a four-lane underpass, which will lessen congestion by over half,” said P.R. Padmanabhan Nair, president, Edappally Vikasana Samiti. The existing flyover would have served its purpose if it landed beyond the Edappally Toll Junction, he added.

Ponekkara bridge

Social activist K.A. Francis said an underpass and realisation of the long-awaited Ponekkara bridge would ensure streamlined flow of vehicles at the junction. The bridge will open up an alternative corridor for vehicles to North Paravur.

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