Parallel road to NH 17, a Kumarakom-airport highway are the juicy bits for infrastructure

Something is on the way to share the burden of NH 17.

The State Budget has set aside Rs 117 crore for the first phase of the Vallarpadam container terminal-Ponnani-Kozhikode road, which will decongest the narrow NH 17. As a kickoff work, construction on the Rs 150 crore, 1.5km-long Azheekkal-Munambam bridge will begin this year. A bridge will also have to be built at Chettuva.

The Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) will get the work done. Sources in the agency said, “The coastal highway will later be stretched to the south of Vallarpadam, ensuring smoother movement of vehicles, especially container-laden lorries. The road will cut down the distance between Ponnani and Kozhikode by 30 km. It will have bus bays, footpaths etc”.

The new corridor will be closer to the coast than NH 17 whose four-laning has been held up because the State Government is reluctant to fund the widening work. Land acquired at a width of 30 metres is lying idle because of this and also due to the Centre’s reluctance to provide funds unless the road is 45 metres wide.

International airport-Kumarakom Road

Another budget nugget is the development of an International airport-Kumarakom State highway. Located in the middle of NH 47 and MC Road, it will open up a new State highway to commuters zipping in the north-south direction, decongesting the two busy roads.

Another will-do by the Finance Minister is the commissioning of the Fort Kochi-Chellanam-Alappuzha Road in the budget. Rs 5 crore has been allotted for this. This will be a continuation of the coastal highway.

Seaport-Airport Road

The government has allotted Rs 25 crore for four-laning approximately 4 km of the Seaport-Airport Road, south of Kalamassery. The administrative sanction for this is ready and work will be tendered this month.

The RBDCK has also tendered the works to build two bridges and their immediate approaches on the road’s proposed extension up to the international airport. “The extended and wider road will decongest the NH Bypass and also NH 47,” sources said.

New roads

Renovating 13 road corridors in Kochi and the construction of two new long-pending roads – the Chilavanoor Bund Road and Goshree-Mamangalam Road, are expected to get an impetus since the Finance Minister has promised to upgrade major roads.

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