Some of the potholes are in the busiest stretches in Kochi city, with thousands of vehicles plying through them every day.

Kochis infamous pothole-ridden roads A danger to citizens and vehicles
news Transport Thursday, August 01, 2019 - 17:15

Kochi is the largest municipal corporation in the state and Kerala’s only metro city. But the condition of the city’s roads often does not sync with these tags. From crater-like potholes to carelessly strewn gravel, Kochi has a handful of infamous roads that pose a threat to commuters.

Unfortunately, these are some of the busiest stretches in Kochi city, with thousands of vehicles plying through them every day. If commuters don’t keep an eye out, there is every danger of slipping and falling into these pits. TNM surveyed some of these roads, which are in very bad shape.


A caution board kept at Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road

Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road

On top of the list is the Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road, which connects two busy points in the city – Banerji Road in Kaloor and Sahodaran Ayyappan Road in Kadavanthra. The condition of the road gets worse as one moves closer to Kumaranasan Junction from Kadavanthara. This stretch of road is filled with gigantic potholes, one even measuring about 7 inches deep and about three meters long.


Giant pothole in Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road

From two-wheelers to autorickshaws and even buses, none of the vehicles can move past without swaying to and fro in this crater formed right in the middle of the road. Not only does the road’s terrible condition take a toll on vehicles, it also affects the health of the riders, says Santhosh, an autorickshaw driver, after a bouncy ride through the stretch.

“This has been the condition of the road for more than six months now and none of the authorities have even tried to rectify this. There is no way for us to move past these potholes without our vehicles getting damaged. Over the past six months, I had to take my autorickshaw to the workshop for repairs at least thrice a month,” Santhosh says.

Gandhinagar Road

What if a person wants to avoid the pothole-ridden Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road and take an alternative route to reach either Kaloor or Sahodaran Ayyappan Road? That’s where comes Gandhinagar Road, which runs parallel to the former. But the situation is not all that different here. The portion of the road in front of Indira Gandhi Co-Operative Hospital and near the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium looks like it has not been touched by tar in the recent past.


Gandhinagar Road 

“Even healthy people will end up with back pain after riding through his road. Imagine the plight of patients coming to the hospital,” says Abdu, an autorickshaw driver.

Interestingly, Gandhinagar Road is one of the roads in the city maintained by Kochi Corporation.

Vyttila

Similar is the case with the service roads in Vyttila, yet another traffic clogged junction in Kochi. Because of the ongoing construction of the Vyttila flyover, vehicles, including buses, are diverted through the service roads, which do not even seem to be tarred.


Service road near Vyttila underpass

The situation is worst along the service road near the Vyttilla underpass. One cannot be blamed if the road is mistaken for a mountainous terrain rather than the service road of a state highway. The road has become an accident-prone area with vehicles losing their balance or hitting the barricades kept on the narrow lane.

Including this stretch, a majority of the roads in Kochi are under the Public Works Department (PWD).

“The road has been like this since the Vyttila flyover work commenced in December 2017. It became much worse after last year’s flood. Though the councillor of the area intervened and got the road repaired, it soon got damaged after the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) carried out some pipe-laying works,” says Sudeesh, secretary of the residents association in the area.

He also said that the residents are soon going to start a protest for better roads. “We are going to block the road and start a protest here, at least then the authorities will pay heed to our pleas,” Sudeesh says.

Authorities stick to usual clichés

Despite the constant uproar from citizens, authorities have done little to find a long-lasting solution to the issue. The resurfacing work of roads, which has finally started in some part of the city, is just like the clichéd explanation of the officials.

Despite the Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road being the only road maintained by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), it has been in the same condition for more than six months. When TNM contacted GCDA, officials said that they were waiting to complete the paper work related to road repairs.

Meanwhile, PM Harris, Works standing committee chairperson of Kochi Corporation, told TNM there was a need for a long-term plan for the maintenance of roads.

“Digging open recently tarred roads for pipeline works or cable laying is one of the major problems that we face in the maintenance of roads. Unless it is an emergency, we do not encourage digging open a road that has just been repaired. But often it is an emergency situation and we will have to heed to the pleas of the KWA. This is what happened in the case of the Gandhinagar Road also,” said Harris.

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