More allocation in budget; State government to bear 50 per cent of cost
Increased allocation in the 2013-14 budget and the State’s decision to bear 50 per cent cost have given the much-needed impetus to completing six bypasses on the National Highway (NH) stretches passing through the State.
The Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Tripunithira, Kozhikode, and Thalassery-Mahe bypasses have been worked out as part of NH development to reduce the congestion in the towns/cities and to make long-distance travel hassle-free by skipping the busy towns/cities.
In the case of the Thiruvananthapuram bypass, the Union Ministry of Surface Transport and Highways has given the approval for four-laning of the 43-km stretch commencing from Kazhakuttam as a standalone project. Official sources say the tender formalities in this regard have commenced. Already, the initial 22.63 km up to Kovalam Junction has been converted into a two-lane stretch.
Of the 13.14-km Kollam bypass, the work on 4.79 km has been completed and the stretch made two-lane. The government has given the nod to bear 50 per cent cost of converting the remaining 8.35 km into two-lane and for the construction of three bridges on the stretch. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has commenced tender formalities for awarding the works.
An elevated highway and two rail over-bridges are to come up in the remaining 1.54 km of the Alappuzha bypass. Already, a two-lane stretch has been laid in 5.01 km of the bypass. The NHAI has commenced tender formalities for awarding works in the 1.54 km with 50 per cent government contribution.
Almost 80 per cent of the work of the 28.12-km Kozhikode (Calicut) bypass has been completed so far. The stretch that needs to be developed is 5.10 km.
Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju says a sum of Rs.50 crore had been provided for the Kollam and Alappuzha bypasses and Rs.5 crore each for the Kozhikode and Thalassery-Mahe bypasses in the current budget as part of expediting the work and for opening them for traffic.
In the case of Tripunithura, land acquisition had been completed only on a 3.75-km stretch. Official sources say the approval of the alignment from the Union Ministry of Surface Transport and Highways is awaited for taking up the land acquisition in the remaining stretch. The authorities have been able only to complete partially the land acquisition of the 18.03-km Thalassery-Mahe bypass.