According to a research for the Kochi Metro Rail Project, the number of vehicles that pass through Edappally Bypass during the peak hours of 06.00 PM to 06.30 PM is around 7717, just a step behind Vytilla Junction with a number of 8721 vehicles. The current number of vehicles is nowhere near to this number as research was done as a ground study to introduce metro trains to Kochi. With more vehicles and more people being able to afford a vehicle at home, the number of vehicles will have doubled or tripled. Let’s take a look on what makes Edappally junction a nightmare to drivers and city dwellers.
The advantage of location
It is said that Edappally was once ruled by Edappalli Rajas. The people of Kochi have witnessed how a sleepy town rose to become a noteworthy business centre with shopping malls and five star hotels. The greatest factor which boosted Edapally’s growth was the intersection of two highways. NH 47 connects most of the important southern cities such as Salem, Coimbatore, Thrissur, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram and Nagercoil. NH 17 on the other hand reaches up to Panvel, Maharashtra. With the real estate boom, Edappally attracted great demand owing to the much important National Highways and the connectivity it offered.
The location is also a well-liked spot for business enthusiasts. Keeping up with the shopping mall culture, the queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi has also had its share. Oberon Mall, Gold Souk Mall, Nucleus Mall, Bay Pride Mall, Lulu Mall have all cropped up in the city of Kochi over the last few years. Among them, Lulu Mall and Oberon Mall are located at Edappally which made it a prominent place for shopping enthusiasts. Lulu Mall, one of the biggest shopping malls in India turned out to be a game changer. With multiplexes, food courts and plenty of international brands, it paved out a new mall culture for the people of Kochi. Since the connectivity was easy with the presence of two national highways and one railway station and a metro station, Edappally turned out to a favourite place to hang out during the weekends. Apart from the shopping mall, there are numerous bakeries, juice shops, electronic appliances stores scattered across the sides of Edappally junction making it a and Amrita School of Business for students looking out for other streams of higher education.
Considering the importance of Edappally junction, KMRL has envisaged several plans to handle the crowd. The first two steps is however complete- the new flyover which reduced the traffic and the Metro rail station near to the Lulu Shopping Mall to better manage the crowd. The ambitious proposals of KMRL include transformation of one-stop shop.
Many builders also took advantage of Edappally aiming its connectivity. The presence of major builders with luxury flats, villas and apartments also made Edappally to scale heights among the suburbs of Kochi.
Presence of religious and educational institutionsThe two major religious focuses in Edappally are St George Syro Malabar Catholic Forane church and Mahaganapathy temple. St George Syro Malabar Catholic Forane church is one of the oldest churches in India, dating back to 594 AD. The nineday festival celebrated here in the month April-May every year attracts many devotees from different parts of South India. The church is also popular among the non-Christians as a pilgrimage centre. Adjacent to the church stands, St George’s High School. Edappally Maha Ganapathi Temple, also known as Edappally Kovilakam Temple is one of the most important Ganapathy temples in the state which attracts devotees from all over the state. Apart from that Edappally Juma Masjid with a rich history of more than 1000 years also stands tall at Edapally.
The presence of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences is another factor which contributed to Edappally’s growth. The 1,450-bedded hospital supports a daily patient volume of about 3000 outpatients with 95 percent inpatient occupancy. AIMS is part of the Health Sciences campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University). The hospital enjoys ISO 9001:2008, NABL and NABH accreditations. It is also ranked among the top 20 medical colleges in India. Apart from the Medical College, there is also Amrita School of Arts and Sciences and Amrita School of Business for students looking out for other streams of higher education. KMRL plans Considering the importance of Edappally junction, KMRL has envisaged several plans to handle the crowd. The first two steps is however complete- the new flyover which reduced the traffic and the Metro rail station near to the Lulu Shopping Mall to better manage the crowd. The ambitious proposals of KMRL include transformation of Edappally into a modernised and advanced urban area by creating space for walkways and promenades as well as four meter wide islands in and around it. A corridor from Metro station that serves as an entry directly into Lulu Mall will be made. The Edappally junction development plans will also focus on constructing a hanging bridge from the Metro station to Lulu Mall’s NH 17 entrance which passes over Edappally canal. Bus bays will be constructed and provisions will be made for parking auto rickshaws and cycles below the metro line.