CSML faces flak for not completing renovation of Vyttila Mobility Hub

CSML faces flak for not completing renovation of Vyttila Mobility Hub

The exit road of the Vyttila mobility hub which is in a dilapidated condition.
| Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The work to renovate the dilapidated carriageway and to build a pair of culverts on the 25-acre Vyttila Mobility Hub (VMH) premises that Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) began over six months ago is nowhere near completion, although the monsoon is just a month away.

This has resulted in bus, metro and water metro commuters having to endure a bumpy ride. A visit to the hub premises showed that pedestrians too have to be wary of buses and other vehicles that take the wrong side in order to evade gaping potholes on the carriageway, especially on the exit and other areas where there are no footpaths.

Sunitha Dixon, the councillor representing the Vyttila Division in the Kochi Corporation, said CSML that began the renovation work towards 2023 end, had failed to prevail on the contracting firm to complete the work in a time-bound manner. “Just a handful of workers can be seen at the work sites on any given day due to slack supervision by CSML officials. With much of the November-May working season lost, one has to see whether the agency is able to complete the pending works before the onset of the monsoon. The VMH Society too must get its act together since a new access road to the hub premises from Vyttila is being used to park buses,” she added.

The entire premises, including the entry to the Kochi metro’s Vyttila station will get waterlogged if CSML fails to build two culverts through which excess water can be diverted to the Kaniampuzha river, Ms. Dixon said.

There is also delay in widening the free left turn from Kaniampuzha Road, although the KSEB had relocated a transformer that blocked the way. Once widened, this would provide a wider exit from Kaniampuzha Road towards Thripunithura, S.A. Road, and Palarivattom.

Expressing shock at the delay on the part of CSML in completing the renovation work and also much of the 25-acre premises remaining weed-infested and ill-maintained, T.V. Paulose, president of Vyttila Bus Terminal Neighbours’ Association, said a police station could be built on the sprawling premises since Vyttila is said to be the biggest junction in Kerala.

Amjith Ramakrishnan, a regular commuter from the mobility hub, spoke of how commuters, drivers of different vehicles, and pedestrians were forced to endure potholes, undulations, dust, and waterlogging on the weed-infested premises for years. “This is apart from the delay in kick-starting the second-phase development work at the hub. It is ideally located to have among others, a mini civil station,” he said.

Sources in the VMHS said CSML ought to have terminated the contractor and invited tenders afresh, in which case the renovation work could have been completed by now. “Else, we could have invited tenders on our own. At present, we have sought an estimate to install lights, fans, and seats at the bus terminal within the hub,” they added.

CSML sources said the contracting firm had been told yet again to expedite the work and to complete it before the monsoon, so that commuters could safely use the hub premises.

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