Possibility of direct access for public transport from Island to city being explored
KOCHI: District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla has asked the Regional Transport Officer to identify an agency for conducting a study to find out whether the city roads can handle an increased traffic pressure if public transport from Goshree Islands is allowed direct access to the city.
This is part of a three-point process the Collector has set in motion ahead of approaching the government with the Goshree Islanders’ long-standing demand for direct access to the city.
At present, commuters from coastal areas, including Vypeen, Elamkunnapuzha, Njarackal, Mulavukad, Nayarambalam, Edavanakkad, Kuzhupilli, and Pallippuram, have to disembark at High Court Junction before boarding another bus to reach various destinations in the city. For the last more than a decade, more than 200 private buses from these islands have been operating services only up to High Court Junction.
Allowing public transport from Goshree Islands to enter the city needs an amendment to a notification issued by the government in 2009. Incidentally, the notification was passed to prevent congestion on city roads.
“People from all parts of the district should have direct access to city centres, and in keeping with this principle, we are initiating a process to get the government notification amended,” Mr. Safirulla said.
The notification may warrant a revisit in the wake of the expected commissioning of the Kochi metro and its impact on public transport network.
“The issue will also be discussed at the next meeting of the Regional Transport Authority in which stakeholders will have the option to make suggestions and raise objections if any,” said Mr. Safirulla.
The development comes in the wake of a social media campaign launched by the islanders demanding direct services to destinations such as Kaloor and the Vyttila Mobility Hub.
They had also submitted a petition to the Collector, besides starting an online poll seeking responses to the demand for extending private bus services to Kaloor, Vyttila Mobility Hub, Kakkanad, and Pallimukku.
“Restrictions on public transport are inflicting a drain on the money and time of the islanders. The authorities should at least permit access to buses up to the MG Road station of the metro in the changed circumstances,” said Ebenser Ceeyal, president of Greater Cochin Development Watch.