Over Rs.18 crore set aside for construction of the bridges

As major infrastructural add-ons to the Vadakara-Mahe canal, the government has sanctioned the construction of two bridges in the district for over Rs.18 crore.

The proposed 17.4-km canal is viewed as a necessary link to develop inland water transport in the State.

It will also offer a fuel-efficient and economically viable alternative to road transport.

To be linked to WCC

The canal will be connected to the existing navigational link called West Coast Canal (WCC) stretching from the southern end of Thiruvananthapuram district up to Kasaragod district in the north.

Dubbed as part of Vision Vadakara 2025, the canal would pass through Thiruvallur, Maniyoor, Villiyapilly, Purameri, and Ayancherry in the Kuttiyadi constituency; Edacherry in the Nadapuram constituency; and Eramala and Azhiyoor in the Vadakara constituency.

The Mahe-Vadakara stretch is one of the few missing links in the WCC extending to 361 km. The project was originally approved by the Central government in 1965. Land required for digging this stretch was acquired that year itself and work started on different parts, soon to be stopped due to paucity of funds.

The administrative sanction for the road bridges was accorded by Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation Department.

The bridges will be complete with footpaths at Kalleri village in Vadakara taluk and Parambil village situated within the Balussery block panchayat here.

The department has sanctioned Rs.9.7 crore for the construction of the road bridge across the canal at Kalleri, while the other bridge at Parambil was allowed funds to the tune of Rs.9.95 crore. The sanction was accorded after studying proposals and estimate submitted by the Irrigation Department.

This sanction follows the government’s technical sanction for work on a four-km portion of the Vadakara-Mahe Canal in October this year.

The technical approval had brought a fresh lease of life to a four-decade-old proposal to develop the canal.

The National Transportation Planning and Research Centre, in its techno-economic feasibility study, said 16.6 per cent of the total goods traffic by road could be diverted to the inland water transport system.

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