Service roads must be an integral part of Kerala’s highway development since there is ribbon development all along the State’s national highways. All National Highways must hence be developed at 45-metre width, a group of prominent NGOs has demanded.

Unlike National Highways in other States, shops and commercial establishments line either side of the State’s highways. The population density is very high on either side of highways and major roads. This generates a lot of vehicular and pedestrian movement all along highways. Their easy access to narrow highways is now causing a number of accidents and considerably slowing down traffic movement, said S. Gopakumar, president of Better Kochi Response Group (BKRG), while addressing a media conference here.

Service roads will also prevent haphazard parking on National Highways. They also help build bus bays away from the carriageway. Moreover, service roads are a must to avoid highways getting flooded during heavy rain. Road medians having 4.50-metre width too are important so that vehicles can safely take U-turns.

Knowing that the Centre has discounted National Highways’ width in Kerala from 60 m to 45 m, land owners, tenants and bar hotel owners are pressuring the government to further reduce the width to 30 m.

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