Commuters, drivers, and pedestrians having a harrowing time due to delay in restoring roads on the hub premises; substantial amount of work on the carriageway of service road, drains, and culverts completed, claims CSML

D Dhanuraj, CPPR Chairman, comments on the news published in The Hindu

The condition of the carriageway at the Vyttila Mobility Hub that is spread over 25 acres and has a bus terminal, metro station, and a water metro jetty, is turning from bad to worse, thanks to slow pace of maintenance works.

With Vyttila Mobility Hub Society (VMHS) that owns the premises citing inability to maintain the carriageway, Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) took up the work to restore damaged portions of the carriageway over a year ago as part of the city circular bus project. The agency also agreed to build drains and culverts to prevent waterlogging.

Expressing angst at the plight of the sprawling hub premises, D. Dhanuraj, chairman of Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), a city-based think tank, said the mobility hub was conceptualised to seamlessly integrate different modes of public transport, including inter-State buses, and to decongest bus stands in the city. “Sadly, a decade and a half since the first phase of the hub was inaugurated, the State government seems clueless about how best to utilise the 25-acre premises. This could be due to the general slack approach towards the upkeep of bus stands in the State. This is in stark contrast with the emphasis laid on the upkeep of Kochi metro stations in a spic and span manner,” he said.

It is high time VMHS, chaired by the Chief Minister, was given autonomous powers to garner revenue for the upkeep and development of the hub. For now, the society must be given adequate funds and a proper administrative set-up, failing which more and more people will begin to shun public transport systems, he added.

CSML sources said a substantial share of work on the carriageway of the service road, drains, and culverts had been completed. “Faced with the fury of commuters, drivers, and pedestrians over the deplorable plight of the carriageway in front of the metro station and the exit of the hub into Vyttila-Thripunithura Road, VMHS has requested us to restore this portion of the carriageway as well. The estimate for it is being readied,” they said.

The traffic diversion plan has been sent to VMHS to clear the road and to temporarily restore the severely potholed portions. Once levelled, paver blocks will be laid on the carriageway. Pending culvert work and paver block work will follow, they added.

Responding to the widespread concern over the deteriorating plight of the hub, VMHS sources said many parts of the damaged carriageway that were restored repeatedly using wet mix macadam were getting washed away in rain. “Instructions will be given to restore them.”

Views expressed by the author are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of the Centre for Public Policy Research.

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