Staff Reporter

Rs.640-crore project to widen Karamana-Kaliyikkavila stretch of NH 47

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Work to widen the 29.2-km Karamana-Kaliyikkavila road, one of the congested stretches of National Highway 47 passing through the district, at an estimated cost of Rs.640 crore will commence soon.

In the first phase, the 12 km stretch from Karamana will be taken up for widening by the Public Works Department (PWD). A sum of Rs.100 crore had been sanctioned by the Finance Department for acquiring land. PWD sources said the department had given administrative sanction for the work following the allocation of funds for acquiring land.

Instructions had been given to expedite land acquisition process in the stretch so that the work could commence soon. Additional land will be acquired for developing junctions and for constructing bus bays, if needed.

The Kerala Highway Research Institute under the PWD had conducted a soil survey. Initially, the survey was carried out by the PWD for a 45-metre carriageway passing through several congested junctions like Pappanamcode, Balaramapuram, Neyyatinkara and Parassala.

The probable opposition to land acquisition had forced the authorities to go for another survey and a final alignment, limiting the carriageway to 30.2 metres. Instead of the standard 4.2-metre median, the stretch will have a 1.2-metre median. Sixteen intersections are there on the stretch. Traffic signals will be installed at busy junctions.

The four-lane stretch will have paved shoulders and walkway on both sides. Utility corridors will be constructed to avoid digging up of the road to lay cables of various utility agencies like the KSEB and BSNL. PWD authorities are also considering creating an exclusive lane for bicycle riders. As many as 54 culverts have to be reconstructed. There are six minor bridges. The old bridge at Amaravila, which has been closed for traffic, will have to be rebuilt. The carriageway will be limited to two lanes at Amaravila. The curves at Pravachambalam, Balaramapuram, Udiyankulangara, Kottamom and other places will be straightened. Over 1,500 shops have to be relocated along with several places of worship. The State had taken up the project to ease congestion at busy junctions and to reduce the increasing road accidents in the stretch.