Thiruvallam service bridge on NH 66 remains a non-starter

NHAI regional office yet to submit revised DPR as per instructions of headquarters

Published: 16th June 2022 03:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2022 03:06 AM   |  A+A-

Vehicles violating one-way traffic on NH 66bypass at Thiruvallam, resulting in frequent accidents. The NHAI decided to construct a new service bridge to avoid this crisis | B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The construction of the proposed service bridge at Thiruvallam near the old bridge, mooted by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), to bring down frequent accidents due to one-way rule violation by motorists near the Thiruvallam Parasurama temple, remains a non-starter. The NHAI regional office is yet to submit the revised detailed project report  (DPR) as per the instructions of NHAI headquarters. Earlier, the New Delhi office had directed the regional office to rework the DPR in such a way that the toll revenue leakage can be avoided. The NHAI regional office had submitted a DPR in February. As per the direction from New Delhi, the new service bridge should be redesigned so that people shall pay the toll after using it.

The toll plaza is located hardly 200 m away in Kovalam direction from Thiruvallam junction. Based on the direction, the NHAI has reworked the DPR and redesigned it. However, nothing has happened since then. Vehicles including buses and heavy trucks are still violating the one-way rules here and accidents are occurring quite often.

“Recently, two accidents occurred. However, the accidents were not serious. But we can’t use the road for a long time as there could be fatal accidents. So we urge the authorities to fix the issue at the earliest,” said Anand Mohan K, a resident of Thiruvallam.

The NHAI headquarters had proposed a new bridge after demolishing the existing one. Earlier, its regional office had approached the HQ to construct a service road without demolishing the old one.As per the plan, the new service bridge is for motorists coming from Ambalathara to Thiruvallam and Pachalloor while the old bridge will be the main carriage way of the NH bypass. If the project is redesigned, its estimated cost will also be revised.

Meanwhile, P Pradeep, project director, NHAI, told TNIE that the DPR was revised by completely redesigning the service bridge and it is ready for submission. “The approval will not be a hurdle as the NHAI regional office has the power to go ahead with the work. Since the estimate for the project is also prepared, the proceedings related to floating of tenders are in progress. Hence, we will soon begin the work so as to ensure timely completion to prevent accidents in future,” he said.

Earlier, the NHAI had consulted the road safety consultant, National Transport and Research Centre, to prepare the estimate.  The authority can start the initial proceedings, including the design of the service bridge, only after getting the estimate.  Last year, Works Minister P A Mohamed Riyas had visited the spot and urged the NHAI to construct a new bridge on a war footing.

The service bridge is expected to prevent frequent accidents due to one-way rule violations by motorists near the Thiruvallam Parasurama temple.  Thiruvallam junction is one of the busiest in Thiruvananthapuram, with vehicles travelling towards Kovalam, Pachalloor and East Fort or Ambalathara passing through the junction.  Motorists from Pachalloor and Kovalam who use the old bridge to enter Ambalathara often collide with those coming from Kumarichantha.

As per the statistics available with the police, over 30 accidents had occurred on the old bridge in the past three years. Motorists from Kovalam should take a U-turn at Kumarichantha signal if they want to enter Thiruvallam junction. But those going to Ambalathara or Pachalloor prefer the U-turn on the NH. This is dangerous for both the commuters and those coming from Kumarichantha. The construction of a new service road will help the motorists from Ambalathara side reach Thiruvallam junction without entering the old bridge.



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