Kerala: Hill & Coastal highways planned

The National Transport Planning and Research Centre has submitted the alignment for the proposed hill highway and coastal highway to the public works department. The government would submit the detailed project report (DPR), to be drafted by the Natpac, to Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board for approval.The two projects are estimated to cost Rs.12,000 crore. The hill highway and coastal highway will have a right of way of 12 metre and carriageway of 7 metre.

The PWD has formed two committees under its secretary Subratha Biswas for executing the project. The chief engineer of roads and bridges will be the convenor of the committee to review hill highway while chief engineer of national highway will be the convenor of coastal highway.

The government is planning to construct stretches of hill highway (190 km) on a priority basis in Kasaragod, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts. The work is progressing in Kannur, Kottayam and Pathanamtitta.The total length of hill highway will be 1,267 km.

The coastal highway will pass through 9 districts Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod. The total length of the project is 630 km.

The project will be carried out with minimum inconvenience to public and minimum impact to eco-system.

On land acquisition for the project, minister said that it was not a major issue as people have agreed for free surrender of land at many areas.

The minister also said that modern technologies including coir geotextile would be utilized for road construction.

The coastal highway aims at reducing traffic congestion along the national highways. It can also facilitate container movement from the International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam. The proposed coastal highway will connect Vallarpadam, Kollam and Vizhinjam apart from small ports and harbours.

The hill highway is expected to provide connectivity to major tourists spots.

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