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KOCHI: Residents and motorists passing through the congested roads in Tripunithura now have an alternative, with the mini-bypass being opened for traffic a few days ago.
It links Gandhi Square on the Kundanoor Junction-Pettah stretch with the Tripunithura-Vaikom Road and passes through the new bridge built parallel to the Iron Bridge, the RLV College of Music and Fine Arts, the Oval Cricket Ground and Kannamkulangara. Though the road has been re-surfaced and widened in many places with drains, a few curves continue to be very sharp and narrow.
The chairman of the Tripunithura Municipality, R. Venugopal, said that the tender to widen the curves and narrow stretches has been finalised and the work is estimated to cost Rs 26 lakh.
“Medians would be built at the bell mouths along the mini bypass, so that vehicles can safely criss-cross each other. Lane-demarcating lines would be painted along the bypass,” he said.
The PWD has built a toll booth near the new bridge, to collect toll from motorists using the stretch.
The toll rates are yet to be fixed.
Responding to a question on whether select buses would be diverted through the bypass to decongest Tripunithura town, Mr. Venugopal said that no decision has been taken on this.
“New bus permits could be issued through the road. The proposed widening of the Kaniampuzha-Eroor Road would further decongest Pettah,” he said.
As of now, private vehicles and goods carriers using the bypass can save considerable time and fuel.
Though no traffic signal has been presently planned at the busy junction near Gandhi Square, medians would be built to channelise vehicle flow. Members of the public had been demanding an overbridge at the extremely-congested S. N. Junction in Tripunithura, but to little avail.
Once more vehicles begin to use the bypass, it would temporarily decongest the junction and the stretch towards Irumpanam where toll has to be paid for using the RBDCK's overbridge.
The development of the full stretch of the Tripunithura bypass on the Kochi-Madurai stretch of National Highway 49 had been in limbo, with pressure groups opposing alignments that had been suggested to build a road that bypasses the congested roads in Tripunithura town. The bypass was mooted over a decade ago to connect Kundanoor Junction on the Vytilla-Aroor NH 47 with Mattakuzhi, located off Thiruvankulam.
It would have considerably eased traffic congestion between Vytilla and Thiruvankulam, decongesting roads in Tripunithura, S.N. Junction and Pettah.
The opening of the mini-bypass is expected to catalyse the work on the main bypass.
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