The district administration is awaiting response from the State government to its recommendation permitting entry of select bus services, including the ones operated by KSRTC, from Goshree Islands to the city.
The demand by islanders dates back to the time when Goshree bridges were opened up for traffic 14 years ago. At present, bus services terminate operations at the High Court Junction and commuters have to take another bus to continue their onward journey.
District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla told
that he had forwarded a recommendation to the government over allowing termination points at Vyttila Mobility Hub and Kaloor bus stand for select Goshree bus services. An existing rule that prohibits their entry into the city needs amendment on the part of the government.
Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer Jojy P. Jose cited twin reasons against the entry of Goshree bus services into the city. Goshree Islands remain beyond the officially notified city limits and hence bus services from there cannot be granted permits to enter the city. It needs a policy decision on the part of the government. Besides, the number of city permits has been exhausted and therefore new permits cannot be issued, said Mr. Jose.
Bus owners’ stance
Bus owners operating city services were also against the entry of Goshree buses on the ground that any such move would cause unmanageable traffic gridlock in the city. Instead, a previous move, shelved later on for unknown reasons, to set up a bus stand by the name Collector’s Square on Goshree Island Development Authority’s land near a Goshree bridge would have been ideal, said M.B. Sathyan, president, All Kerala Private Bus Operators’ Federation (AKPBOF).
In fact, the halt of inter-district private bus services and those operated from the eastern borders of Ernakulam like Kothamangalam and Muvattupuzha was shifted from South first to Manapattiparambu near Kaloor and then to Vyttila Mobility Hub following the inadequate carrying capacity of city roads and their pathetic condition, he said.
Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), a Kochi-based research think-tank, is planning to organise a bus trip by the District Collector from Vypeen to High Court Junction on Friday as part of its monthly observation of Kochi Public Transport Day.
“Our primary observation is that it could bring about significant change in reducing private vehicles on the road. We will conduct a study on the impact of the entry of Goshree bus services into the city this month,” said D. Dhanuraj, chairman, CPPR.
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