An all-party meeting held here on Saturday elicited suggestions from stakeholders on permitting buses from Goshree islands to conduct services on city routes.
Those who participated included Transport Commissioner K. Padmakumar. He said it had been decided to send an all-party delegation to meet the Chief Minister and the Minister for Transport to remove the legal hurdles. “The main issue is a government notification issued before the commissioning of three Goshree bridges 14 years ago. With buses and other vehicles being able to enter the city, the existing policy has to change. A mass signature campaign will be organised on August 11 as part of this,” said S. Sarma, MLA, who presided over the meeting.
Chairman of Goshree Action Council Majnu Komath sought the State government’s proactive intervention to sort legal tangles in the issue. “Little happened though we took up the matter with successive governments, beginning with the Oommen Chandy-led UDF government in 2005. Even a decision to permit a section of private buses from the Goshree isles into the city has not been implemented, forcing commuters to alight at High Court Junction and rely on other commuting modes to reach destinations in the city,” Mr. Komath said.
Participants passed a resolution seeking steps to ensure seamless transport connectivity from the isles to the city and back, since commuters have minimal waiting space at High Court Junction and other spaces, what with vendors and encroachers taking over footpaths and pavements.
The issue is prompting thousands of people to rely on private vehicles to commute to the city and back, worsening congestion at High Court Junction and on arterial roads. They will have to pay a minimum of Rs. 8 to commute to their destination in other buses, whereas continuing their journey to their destination in a bus from Vypeen would incur an additional expense of just a rupee or two, said a former official of the Motor Vehicles Department.
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