Work on 22.6-km Kazhakuttam-Mukkola stretch

The groundwork for the four-laning of the Kazhakuttam-Inchivila NH bypass, by the National Highways Authority of India, has gathered momentum with the finalising of a hearing for people whose land will be taken for the project in five blocks of Neyyattinkara taluk.

The hearing for those who will lose land at Kottukal, Kanjiramkulam, Thirupuram, Chenkal, and Karode blocks and scrutiny of documents such as title deed, purchase certificate, possession and enjoyment certificate, and non-encumbrance certificate will commence from April 15 at the office of the Special Tahsildar, Land Acquisition (NH) Unit II, Neyyattinkara.

The hearing will come to an end on May 5, according to the Special Deputy Collector and Competent Authority, Land Acquisition-NH 47. It was only in last month that the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had granted approval to the NHAI’s proposal for four-laning of the 22.6-km stretch — from Kazhakuttam to Mukkola — of the Kazhakuttam-Kaliyikkavila NH bypass.

Official sources told The Hindu that the Revenue Department was evaluating the notified land in these five blocks. The Public Works Department would evaluate the structures on the notified land.

The 43.62-km stretch from Kazhakuttam to Inchivila is part of the 212-km NH-47 bypass project in the State from Thuravur, which had begun in 1974. The 22-km first phase, from Kazhakuttam to Kovalam Junction, had been converted into two lane 15 years ago. The stretch has already become choked.

Land had been acquired for a four-lane road and for increasing the width to 45 m along the bypass in the Kazhakuttam-Chakka-Enchakkal-Kovalam stretch. The four-laning assumes significance in view of the traffic congestion on the two-lane stretch from Kazhakuttam to Kovalam and the proposed ICTT at Vizhinjam.

The four-laning, to be taken up as a build-operate-and transfer project, envisages four major bridges, including a new two-lane one at Akkulam; 60 culverts; a rail overbridge at Chakka; and 11 underpasses.

The bypass, originating from Kazhakuttam and rejoining the NH at Inchivila near the inter-State border at Parassala, was conceived in 1990s.