Airport extension is expected to be commissioned by mid-2016
Paucity of funds has delayed the project to extend Seaport-Airport Road from HMT Junction to international airport.
The tentative deadline to complete the Rs. 662-crore works (including Rs. 400 crore for land acquisition) is mid-2016, by which time the State will be ready for Assembly polls. Insufficient funding has also affected the pace of widening the existing road into four lanes. The 14-km-long extension and four laning would considerably decongest the busy highway between Kundanoor on NH Bypass and Angamaly on NH 47.
Sources in the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) which owns the road said work on two bridges – at Thottumugham Mahilalayam Junction and Turuth-Chowara stretch — were under way. “Piling is getting over and the bridges will be ready by mid-2015. Construction of the road is picking up pace in the Mahilayalam-Chowara reach for which the State government had accorded administrative sanction worth Rs 27.40 crore.”
Carving out a road on the HMT Junction-Mahilayalam stretch is next in line. For this stretch, the government sanctioned Rs. 98 crore for acquiring land in the HMT Jn.-NAD reach. Negotiation is on to acquire land from 136 owners, and 124 have given consent .
Following this, priority would be given to acquire land in the NAD-Asokapuram-Mahilayalam reach. Funds are necessary to acquire land and to commence road work on the Mahilalayam-Chowara-international airport stretch. There is no change in alignment except for realignment at a portion near the airport where a golf course came up.Four laning
Widening the Irumpanam-HMT Jn. stretch of Seaport-Airport Road, for which land was acquired over a decade ago at 30-metre width, too is lagging behind because of fund crunch. Only Rs. 25 crore has been sanctioned for works totalling Rs. 212 crore.
Currently, work is under way to widen 2.5-km-long HMT Junction-Bharat Matha College stretch. Funds were handed over to KWA to shift water pipelines, while oil firms are expected to relocate aviation turbine fuel lines. Four laning the stretch is expected to be over before the monsoon, except in a few areas where a few plots of land have not been taken over.
Funds have not yet been earmarked for widening a major part of the road which extends southward up to Irumpanam in Tripunithura.