Renovating much awaited and long-due Ernakulam Broadway, Cochin

The much awaited renovation of Cochin’s Ernakulam Broadway is finally under initiation after Cochin Smart City Limited’s (CSML) consultants submitted a detailed project report (DPR) and that tenders will be issued this month, if the DPR is approved by the CSML. Raji R., General Manager, CSML informed, “The tenders will be invited once the process is completed.” 

The renovation aims to better the pedestrianization of the street holistically. The revamp thereby will involve improvement of the infrastructure facilities along the Broadway Street, from CSI Church to the Basil Street. The plans undertaken for the revamp sync well with the public need. 

The traffic congestion and inadequate parking facilities are the main problems identified and the major challenges of the project. Both the traders and the customers insisted on the need to provide better infrastructure for streets and footpaths in the vicinity. The footpaths are already occupied by the stalls or carts placed by the shopkeepers, but the traffic congestion adds for making the condition worse. Raji added, “The footpaths will be cleared and the traffic system will be cleared and the traffic system will be improved. Discussions will be held with traffic police to check whether it is possible to have a one-way system. There is a need to regulate the timing of loading and unloading of goods. The loading and unloading of goods should be done without causing inconvenience to shoppers.” 

The street’s lustre has slowly become dull due to traffic congestion, poor drainage systems, lack of well-maintained public toilets and lack of entertainment. These are the reasons that discourage the shoppers to come to Broadway, and instead prefer the air conditioned shopping malls with better facilities. To bring back the old charm of Ernakulam Broadway, the renovation project will see installations of all utilities to be shifted underground with drainage lines to be relayed. To enhance the area and make it more user-friendly, adequate streetlights will be provided with street furniture designed at available spaces. “The availability of land for development activities is a main issue. We can work only within the limited land available,” she said. 

The other major challenges before the Kochi Municipal Corporation to start the renovation is the rehabilitation of the vendors to a suitable location, where they will be able to find good business. The reason being the absence of an apt location that would ensure that vendors will be able to sustain their livelihood and the other being the delay in framing rules under the Street Vendors Act, 2014. It is ensured that before undertaking Ernakulam Broadway’s renovation, the street vendors will be shifted to an apt location. 

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