Development of Karamana-Kaliyikkavila portion in capital city
Giving hopes of an early end to the traffic snarls on the Thiruvananthapuram-Nagercoil stretch of the National Highway 47, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday announced that the widening of the 29.2-km Karamana-Kaliyikkavila stretch passing through the capital district would be included in the Rs.10,000-crore road development project.
Mr. Chandy said work on four-laning would be expedited to ease traffic congestion in the southern region and in view of the proposed International Container Transhipment Terminal at Vizhinjam and the Monorail. The Chief Minister was speaking after distributing compensation to the 14 families who had surrendered their land for the widening of the Karamana-Karakkamandapam stretch.
“The funds from the budget would not be adequate to complete the widening and including it in the KSTP would not be feasible. The project would be included in the Rs. 10,000-crore package worked out to develop 21 roads on annuity basis as suggested by Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar and the legislators. No toll would be collected on the stretch being developed,” he added.
Mr. Chandy announced that Minister for Finance K.M. Mani, who was also present, had agreed to provide the additional Rs.66 crore needed to pay compensation to those who had surrendered land on the Karamana-Karakkamandapam stretch.
Pointing out that unavailability of land and the prohibitive cost were the main hindrance to road development, Mr. Chandy lauded those who had surrendered the land for the widening and said it was a ‘sacrifice for development’. It is our responsibility now to complete the project in a time-bound manner and hand over compensation to others.
The Chief Minister asserted that the ICTT at Vizhinjam would come up. “We are entering the last phase. It will be an asset for the country as big vessels will be able to berth here.”.
In addition to the Rs. 100 crore from the Rs. 400-crore infrastructure fund, Rs. 7.70 crore had been allocated in the budget for the four-laning. Mr. Chandy said the PWD had been given Rs.2,000 crore during the last two years in addition to the Rs. 300 crore budgetary allocation.
The first to get the cheque of Rs. 24.26 lakh as compensation was T. V. Ramanathan.
A sum of Rs. 2.70 crore was disbursed as compensation. The government needs Rs. 316 crore to pay up compensation.
Mr. Mani, who presided over the function, said the State should draw up a master plan for the development of roads. Mr. Sivakumar said the government was committed towards implementing the second phase of the city road improvement project, monorail and multi-modal hub.
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor; Deputy Speaker N. Shaktan; Legislators K. Muralidharan, R. Selvaraj, A.T. George; TRIDA chairman P.K. Venugopal; DCC president K. Mohankumar; BJP district president Karamana Jayan; District Collector K. N. Satheesh; and Special Officer, NH widening, P. Balakiran; spoke. The development of the 12-km stretch from Karamana to Vazhimukku would be taken up in the first phase. The medians on the 30.2-metre carriageway would also be increased from 1.5 metres to 3 metres in view of the proposed monorail up to Neyyattinkara.