Trivandrum: A ride through the NH stretch between Kesavadasapuram till Sreekaryam Jn. has become worse than a nightmare for motorists. Ulloor Jn. is currently in a mess and getting past the chaos is an arduous task in itself. Yet, the argument in favour of Ulloor Jn. is that the work is atleast progressing here, unlike in Sreekaryam Jn. And at the rate at which vehicular traffic has been increasing on this stretch, it is on its way to soon being another Balaramapuram, which is on the southern side of the National Highway.
The city has been expanding recklessly for the past decade, with the outskirts attracting more new business ventures. The National Highway 47, which enters the city at Kazhakkootam and exits from Karamana, is the single most important road for the city and its development is vital to feed and accommodate the city's growth. Yet, the present condition has this road clogged at various important junctions, with Balaramapuram being the most notorious, closely followed by Sreekaryam.
“There is no doubt that the entire junction should be redesigned and rebuilt,” says B Vjayakumar, Councillor of Sreekaryam. “It has been a long standing demand. Now that Sreekaryam has been included in the corporation limits, things should get done here.”
Sreekaryam Jn. is where the the road from Chempazhanthi and another leading to Aakkulam through CTCRI (Central Tuber Crops Research Institute) merges with the National Highway. The presence of various important educational institutions like the Trivandrum College of Engineering makes this junction one of the busiest in the NH stretch. Yet bus bays have been built alongside the existing two lane road, causing traffic blocks that could cause delays up to an hour. The layout of the junction is such that the installed traffic signals only serve to worsen the situation. Right now, the traffic is mostly controlled manually. Worsening the situation is the huge number of vehicles, especially two wheelers, that are parked along the roads.
“The plan envisaged is to widen all roads to four lanes, atleast to a
kilometer from the junction. Three bus bays would be built and the
junction would have an island in the middle. The existing market place
needs to be shifted further back by about 200 feet from the junction,
for the plan to be implemented. The existing shopping complex too will
have to go.”
A total of 84 shops would have to be evicted to carry out the plan. But
before the eviction process commences, work would have to be completed
on the commercial complex to house these shops. The total estimated cost
for implementing the project is 14.4 crores.
However,there seems to be no probability of this plan being brought to
fruition in the near future. If the plan is to be implemented, work
would be handed over to TRIDA.
“We are yet to be intimated about anything. If such a project is being
mooted then it hasn't yet got to the level were TRIDA needs to get
involved,” said R Ajith, Chief Engineer, TRIDA.
At present,SreekaryamJn is a major block in the vital artery for the
growth of the city and just like in the case of its population, it seems
like lessons would only be learned the hard way...