22.6-km stretch from Kazhakuttam to Mukkola
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has granted approval to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)’s proposal for four-laning of the 22.6-km stretch of the Kazhakuttam-Kaliyikkavila NH bypass, from Kazhakuttam to Mukkola. According to official sources, the Ministry has also granted permission to issue notification for the new alignment for the rest of the stretch, leading up to the Tamil Nadu border.
The 43.62-km stretch from Kazhakuttam to Inchivila is part of the 212-km NH-47 bypass project of the NHAI in the State from Thuravur, which had begun in 1974. The 22.6-km first phase from Kazhakuttam to Mukkola had been converted into two lane about 15 years ago. The State had also acquired land for the four-lane project at a width of 45 m, but the work was delayed owing to various issues.
The four-laning assumes significance in view of the traffic congestion on the two-lane stretch from Kazhakuttam to Kovalam now. The international terminal of the airport and the expansion of Technopark, both on either sides of the bypass, had only compounded the congestion.
The project is expected to include construction of four major bridges, including a new two-lane bridge at Akkulam; 60 culverts; a rail over-bridge at Chakka; and 11 underpasses. The construction of the rail overbridge and alignment of two lanes in front of the airport are expected to pose major challenges to the project officials.
The bypass, originating from Kazhakuttam and rejoining the NH at Inchivila near the inter-State border at Parassala, was conceived in the 1990s to ease traffic congestion on the Sreekaryam-Neyyattinkara NH-stretch of the capital district and to provide an alternative corridor.