Kerala

Highway widening will be over by 2020

All efforts are being made to widen the 590-km Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram National Highway corridor to four/six lanes by December 2020, official sources said.

Works to widen the Cherthala-Kazhakuttam corridor will begin in June, while the widening process will get under way on the Thalapady-Angamaly stretch in the subsequent months. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has agreed to route ₹26,000 crore through the NHAI for widening the NH in three years, Public Works Principal Secretary Kamala Vardhana Rao has said. The Angamaly-Cherthala stretch is already four lane.

The 2020 deadline and assurance of funds was made following a meeting held recently by Minister for Public Works G. Sudhakaran and Mr. Rao with Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nithin Gadkari, the NHAI Chairman, and the Secretary, MoRTH.

They said the Centre was willing to allot funds, provided land was made available at 45-metre width for NH 66 and the proposed hill highway. The alignment had been fixed for NH 66, including that of bypasses on the corridor.

“The State government has acquired 1,400 hectares of the 3,567 hectares needed on the Thalapady (Kasaragod)-Kazhakuttam (Thiruvananthapuram) corridor to widen the NH to 45 metres and compensation is being granted in accordance with the NHAI Act,” Mr Rao said.

Though land had been acquired at 30-metre width over two decades ago, most parts of the NH are two lane and just around 12-metre wide, despite the State’s vehicle population touching the 1-crore mark.

To adopt HAM

The hybrid annuity model (HAM) will be adopted to execute the widening work, wherein the contractor(s) will bear the entire cost. The MoRTH/ NHAI will repay the amount in the course of 10 years or more. Toll will be collected by the NHAI to realise the money. There will be a mix of four/six lanes for NH 66 stretches being developed on the Thrissur-Kasaragod stretch.

Cherthala to capital

Down south, the busy Cherthala-Kazhakuttam stretch will be largely four lane. Technical schedules for Alappuzha, Kollam, and Thiruvananthapuram districts have been submitted and draft DPR is under preparation. The State government gave consent to the alignment plan in February 2017 and centre line fixing is over on the stretch.

Alignment approval is awaited from the government for certain stretches in Thiruvananthapuram. The land required on the stretch is 776 hectares, of which 520 hectares has already been acquired, PWD sources said.


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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 12:20:36 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/highway-widening-will-be-over-by-2020/article22614309.ece