The meeting of the people’s representatives chaired by Union Minister for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas decided to request the Central government to conduct a feasibility study on the chances to build a coastal highway from Munambam to Chellanam.
One stretch of the proposed highway is between Munambam and Vypeen and the other is between Fort Kochi and Ambalapuzha. K V Thomas will hand over the representation signed by local body representatives to the Central government.
K V Thomas said that during his stint as the State Tourism Minister, he had initiated a feasibility study for the same route in 2001 and the previous government had also tried to build the coastal highway on the same route.
The minister pointed out that if the coastal highway is constructed under the aegis of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the road should have a width of 45 metres.
But if PWD is constructing the road, the width required is 30 metres. “Also, if the NHAI takes up the work, it will collect toll. If the NHAI does not collect toll, the state government should take the responsibility of providing financial support. Without the active cooperation of the public, the envisaged project cannot take off,” he said.
He added that the government will not be able to take initiative in the land acquisition process, if the public does not co-operate.
The union minister also pointed that people in the Vypeen region will be massively benefited by the project. “Traffic is drastically increasing in the region. If the new road materialises, the traffic to Vallarpadam container terminal road can be diverted,” he said.
Additional District Magistrate B Ramachandran, Maradu Municipality chairman T K Devarajan, district panchayat members K R Subash, M J Tomy, K J Leenus, block panchayat presidents G Sudhambika, Soujath Abdhul Khadher, Sreeranjini Vishwananthan, senior officials in NHAI and PWD and several grama panchayat presidents attended the representatives’ meeting.