THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The commissioning of the much-awaited elevated highway at Kazhakoottam is likely to get delayed as the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is yet to respond to the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) request to open the 2.72-kilometre four-lane road on December 2.
The NHAI already postponed the commissioning of the state’s longest elevated highway thrice, citing non-completion of works and delay in getting Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s date to inaugurate the project as reasons.
Initially, the highway was set to be inaugurated on November 1. Later, it was postponed to November 15 and then to November 29. The date was again postponed to December 2, and the venue was also finalised. But, NHAI officials said the function may get delayed as the official communication from the Centre is yet to be received. However, the NHAI is planning to open the road to the public once the safety check is over.
“It will take a week to complete the safety check and open the road for transportation. We are hopeful that the minister would attend the event on the scheduled date,” an NHAI official said. The 22-metre-wide elevated highway has 61 pillars and 420 girders. The painting works have been completed.
Fast progress in Kazhakoottam-Kadampattukonam NH-66 work Meanwhile, the road widening work on the Kazhakoottam-Kadampattokonam stretch of the National Highway (NH) 66 is progressing quickly. The issue of acquiring 44 cents of land from the Thiruvarattukavu temple compound for constructing the Attingal bypass has been resolved. The land-clearing works have begun and the construction of the drain has started in Mangaluru. Buildings are being demolished and trees are being cut down as part of acquiring the land, an official said.
As per the NHAI source, there will be four flyovers, 36 culverts, six minor bridges, three vehicle overpasses, five vehicle underpasses, six light vehicle underpasses, four small vehicle underpasses, three cattle underpasses, 29-km long service road, 20 bus bays, and 5-foot overbridges on the bypass. The bypass will be 11.15km long. The work is expected to be completed in two years.
The contract for the development of the stretch was awarded to RDS Projects Limited for Rs 990 crore. The Kazhakoottam-Parippally stretch is slated to be widened to 45m to facilitate six-lane traffic.