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Construction of Vytilla flyover and anticipated traffic congestion-action requested for immediate resumption of RORO service


                        The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry is deeply concerned about the disruption to trade and the traffic congestion that will result from the traffic diversion that is being planned to facilitate the construction of the flyover at Vytilla. The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry one of the oldest Chambers of Commerce in the country has at all times played a pivotal role in facilitating the well-being of the Export-Import community here in Cochin.

                        While the commissioning of the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam has resulted in the reduction of activity on the Willingdon Island cargo originating from/and imported for, the southern districts of Kerala still depended on the Port and the Container Freight Stations (CFS) on the Island for operational convenience, cost effectiveness and the skilled workers available here.  The introduction of RORO service in the year 2011, between Willingdon Island and the ICTT at Vallarpadam was a godsend to the exim trade and was a key catalyst in the movement of export import containers between the Island and the ICTT. This service was an efficient one and besides helping in the easy movement of containers also helped in decongesting the otherwise overcrowded city roads by removing hundreds of trucks from it. This service also helped reduce the distance and travel time significantly thereby resulting in huge cost savings.

However, with the stoppage of this useful and much appreciated RORO service the trade here has had to, once again, depend on the highly congested city roads for transporting cargo from/to southern districts through the busy Kundannoor Junction via Vytilla, Palarivattom and Edappally.  This resulted in increased costs and the aggravation of the traffic congestion on the city roads.

Now with the inauguration of the construction of the much required flyover and the pillars for the Metro Rail Service at Vytilla Junction, it has become necessary to resort to the deviation of traffic through the city’s narrow arterial roads which, as we all know,  are totally unfit for container truck movement.  Once the new routes are introduced, exporters, importers and their logistic providers will have a very difficult time especially with regard to the daytime movement of container trucks coming from the Southern parts of the State to the ICTT at Vallarpadom. As you are aware, the time bound movement of cargo will be totally disrupted with the diversions not to mention the havoc that will result with regard to the normal commuter traffic. Inordinate delays, cost escalations and the resulting damage will cause heavy losses to the EXIM community and their logistic providers.

                        Given these circumstances, we humbly request you to initiate immediate action to re-introduce the RORO service forthwith. We understand that the RORO service which was functional in Cochin is the only service available to consider at this moment. It is understood that the draft available at both the RORO jetties is insufficient and hence we kindly request the Cochin Port and the Inland Waterways Authority to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the RORO service can function efficiently. We also understand that there are certain legal hurdles in restarting the RORO services. We hope that this will be taken care off. We, the Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry, being the apex body representing exporters, importers, logistic providers and CFS operators request the Cochin Port and the Inland waterway Authorities to consider the interest of the public and the EXIM trade at large to take proactive steps to restart the RORO service immediately thereby preventing the huge chaos that will result otherwise.  The time for swift action is now.