THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The completion of the second phase development of NH 66 bypass from Mukkola to Karode on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border will be delayed. As per the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) instruction, the deadline for the completion of the 16.3-km stretch has been set for May 2020. However, it is impossible to meet the deadline as many works need to be done, including a major flyover near Kanjiramkulam. Sources said the levelling works need to be done at many places near Thirupuram, Vlanthankara and Kottukal. In addition, the girders for the flyover near Kanjiramkulam also need to be completed.
“If the works are going on at this pace, the construction of the first concrete highway in the state will not be completed in May. Interestingly, the deadline of this project was deferred several times and May 2020 is the latest,” said Gopakumar, a resident.
At present, the concreting at Kanjiramkulam, Chenkavila and Mukkola has been completed. The road widening project was started in July 2017. In addition to various underpasses and flyovers, one major bridge has to be constructed as part of the project across the Neyyar river near Neyyattinkara.
According to P Pradeep, project director, NHAI, 78 per cent of the road construction has been completed and the remaining works are progressing at a fast pace so as to complete the works before May 2020.
However, he also admitted that there are some obstructions in certain locations due to the stiff opposition from residents.
“All the villagers want to have connectivity from their places to the highway. In fact, we have made connectivity in many places due to demand from local residents. But it is not possible to provide connectivity in all places. So, the opposition from the residents is causing delay and we will ensure that all hurdles are cleared and the works are completed before May,” Pradeep said.
The second phase of NH 66 bypass is purely made of concrete and it will become the first concrete highway in the state. In concrete roads, dry lean concrete is used instead of wet mix macadam over the granular sub-base. Dense bituminous macadam will be used for the top layer. Concrete roads are more durable than tarred roads.