THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The mining and geology director has intervened in the ongoing standoff between the department and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to resolve the soil crisis for the development of Mukkola-Karode NH 66 bypass. Earlier, the mining and geology departmental and NHAI were at loggerheads over excavating soil from a quarry at Perumkadavila, to fill the remaining portions of the bypass. TNIE had reported the issue on Monday.
Of the total 16.3km stretch, which will be the first concrete highway in the state, only 1.2 km is left for construction. Mining and geology director S Harikishore told reporters that he will meet stakeholders and take steps to fast-track the project. “Last week, I cleared a file pertaining to the quarry. However, I will soon convene a meeting to resolve the crisis and I believe development should not be compromised, “ he said.
Contractors of the project L&T constructions was on Monday told by the geology department to get the necessary approvals. Following this, L&T officials are holding discussions with local residents and building owners near the quarry to resolve issues at the ground level.
“ L&T is following up with the irrigation department to include some of the houses in the no objection certificate which was issued to them. With this, the contractor has complied with all the necessary requirements for the quarrying permit, “ said NHAI project director P Pradeep.
Last week, the geology department had directed the contractor to stop the excavation citing mining rules. Now, the contractor is facing shortage of soil which is affecting the remaining works at Punnakulam and Thirupuram areas of the bypass. L&T can go ahead with the work only if the geology department gives its approval.
Earlier, geology and mining department had issued a stop memo to the NHAI to halt work after 5 pm. This had also slowed down the work at Kottukal and Thirupuram. Once the 16.3 km road is opened, commuters can travel to Tamil Nadu via Kanyakumari without touching Thiruvananthapuram city.