The Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) has said that the inordinate delay in acquiring land of the Naval Armament Depot (NAD) and HMT has resulted in the non-completion of the airport link of Seaport-Airport Road.
In its reply to a memorandum submitted by Thripunithura Rajanagari Union of Residents’ Associations (TRURA), which demanded speedy completion of the airport extension and four-laning of the entire Seaport-Airport Road, the RBDCK said 80% of the work was over for the HMT Road-NAD extension.
The existing 11.5-km corridor from Irumpanam to Kalamassery was handed over to the Public Works department (PWD) in 2019, on expiry of the 15-year maintenance period. Road construction work is under way in the 2.7-km HMT Road-NAD stretch and the pending 20% of the work can be completed if the NAD and HMT handed over the requisite land.
The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) has sanctioned ₹437 crore for the 6.50-km extension from NAD to Mahilalayam, and the requisition letter for land acquisition for the stretch was handed over to the District Collector. Survey of the land is under way.
The 1.05-km Mahilalayam-Chowara stretch was completed in 2017. The State had not yet issued a Government Order (GO), although the RBDCK had sought inclusion of the 4.15-km Chowara-International Airport stretch in the list of KIIFB projects, the agency said in its reply to the residents’ organisation.
The TRURA said less than half the Seaport-Airport Road was motorable. There has been little progress ever since the first phase from Irumpanam to HMT was commissioned in 2004. Work on the remaining 13.35-km stretch is progressing at a snail’s pace. The completion of the Seaport-Airport Road, its widening into a four-lane corridor, and realisation of the Thripunithura Bypass that was mooted over three decades ago held the key to decongesting the bottlenecked Kundannoor-International Airport corridor, said TRURA convener V.C. Jayendran.