THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a deadlock lasting decades, the Public Works Department (PWD) has got the sanction from the Union Government for acquiring the land needed for the development of the Thiruvananthapuram National Highway (NH) Bypass connecting Kazhakkoottam to Tamil Nadu.
The NH Bypass will be widening to 45 metres, informed PWD Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju. Of the total 43 km, the State Government has already acquired the land needed for widening 27.5 km. The Union Government has now given permission for issuing the notification for acquiring the land needed for widening the remaining 15.5 km.
Around Rs 800 crore is the estimate for the widening works, to be carried out on BOT basis. Development of the stretch is expected to be crucial for easing the traffic congestion in Thiruvananthapuram city. It can also provide a smooth route to Kovalam and Vizhinjam, hotspots of international tourism and trade. The widening of the NH Bypass was conceived almost 30 years ago. Last year, Shashi Tharoor MP had held talks with Union Minister C P Joshi regarding the hurdles before the development of the stretch.
Ebrahim Kunju also expressed hopes about getting the required nod for the acquisition of land for the development of the National Highway from Cherthala to Ochira and Ochira to Kazhakkoottam.