The Hindu| Staff Reporter| Nov 26,2017
Work on the proposed flyover at the busy Vyttila Junction seems to have started on a wrong note with a postponement of the preparatory works.
It was earlier announced that the preparatory work would get under way on Saturday based on which the district administration had drawn up an elaborate traffic diversion plan. But it wasn’t to be, as authorities have now decided to launch the work coinciding with an inaugural function scheduled for December 11.
The Public Works Department (PWD), the implementing agency, declined to divulge the reasons for the postponement. However, informed sources said the decision was taken at a review meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram.
Two reasons could have prompted the authorities to reconsider their decision. The traffic rearrangements at Vyttila Junction, the busiest in the State, involves diversion of vehicles through the Seaport-Airport Road and Thripunithura, which would be far from ideal in the present circumstances.
While the Seaport-Airport Road is already congested, recent traffic reforms at the Collectorate junction have made commuting through the Kakkanad stretch a nightmare. Thripunithura too is set to experience manifold increase in traffic with the onset of the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season. The pilgrimage season will also impact traffic along the Seaport-Airport Road considering the steady stream of Ayyappa devotees coming in from the Angamaly side.
D. Dhanuraj, the chairman of the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), a think tank dedicated to research on current economic, social, and political issues, said the decision to divert traffic seemed to have been taken unilaterally by authorities concerned without consulting stakeholders.
He asked why there was secrecy surrounding a major infrastructure work being taken up using public money. “Putting in place a flyover is not such an engineering marvel. What is more important is the planning to account for the disruption of traffic in two to three kilometre radius of Vyttila Junction and whether the authorities have definite ideas,” said Mr. Dhanuraj.
District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla said the traffic diversion plan would not be launched in one go but would come into force in phases, in tandem with the progress of work on the flyover. Besides, it would be tweaked and reworked as and when required, he said.
This news was published in The Hindu on November 26, 2017, click here to read: Preparatory works for Vyttila flyover postponed