Over 200 families on the 8.50-km-long Thripunithura Bypass, whose land was either frozen or acquired three decades ago for the project that has remained on paper, have been left in the lurch once again, as the stretch does not figure in the alignment of the Kochi-Theni Greenfield National Highway 85 and the Kundannoor-Angamaly NH 66 Bypass, it is learnt.
The Thripunithura Bypass did not take off, although the Public Works Department (NH wing) had partly completed land acquisition for the first phase of the bypass, from Mattakuzhy to Thiruvankulam. Even as the stalemate continued, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) came up with two new NH proposals, and assured that efforts would be made to integrate the alignment of either of the national highways with that of the bypass.
Even as the NHAI probed ways to go ahead with the proposal to include it in the alignment of the six-lane Kundannoor-Angamaly NH Bypass, the technical study found that it could cause a curve in the alignment of the proposed NH. This has made the inclusion of land acquired or frozen for Thripunithura Bypass in the NH project a non-viable proposition. It was up to the PWD to complete the rest of the land acquisition that it set in motion three decades ago, and if needed, ready a link road with the proposed NH Bypass, said sources.
Earlier this year, the PWD had requested the NHAI to include the entire 8.50-km alignment of Thripunithura Bypass with either of the two upcoming national highways, so that the long-overdue bypass project could be realised. Members of Parliament too had repeatedly raised the issue.
Thomas Chazhikadan, MP, had demanded in the Lok Sabha that the alignment of the Thripunithura Bypass should pass through Kottayam, Ernakulam and Chalakudy Parliamentary constituencies and three Assembly constituencies. “The upcoming Kundannoor-Angamaly NH Bypass avoiding Thripunithura Bypass alignment will cause irreparable loss and agony to the 219 families who were left in the lurch due to the project remaining a non-starter. A 3-km distance of the revised alignment of the upcoming NH can be saved if it is aligned with that of the Thripunithura Bypass,” he said.