KOTTAYAM: Even 14 long years after the proposal for the Greenfield tourist highway corridor project was put forth, the ambitious project connecting Cherthala and Kottayam is hanging in the balance.
The detailed project report submitted two years ago by L&T Ramboll Consulting Engineers Limited, the consultant for the project supposed to be implemented by the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), hasn’t received government’s nod yet.
The highway corridor project was proposed by the UDF government under Chief Minister A K Antony in 2001 aimed at the development of tourism sector, especially Kuttanad and Kumarakom.
The cost estimated for the construction of highway in 2002 was `187 crore.
Later, an additional amount of `20 crore and `5 crore has been earmarked for the project from the state budget in 2009 and 2011 respectively.
However, the project hit a roadblock after the traffic survey conducted in February 2013.
According to the proposal, the road passes through three wards of the municipality and six wards of the Thanneermukkam panchayat.
Altogether 524.72 acre of land has to be taken over for the project.
“According to the suggestions put forth by L&T Ramboll Consulting Engineers Limited, the project can be executed in two phases-Kodimatha to Vechoor in phase one and from Vechoor to Cherthala X-ray Junction phase two.
In the first phase, a Greenfield road bypassing Kottyam town will be constructed.
In the second phase, the focus will be on the development of the existing road. The detailed project report has been submitted to the government.
“The works will commence as soon as it is approved,” said N Sudarsanan Pillai, Kerala Road Fund Board general Manager.
According to the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), which conducted a feasibility study for the construction of the 45-m-wide four-lane highway, the proposed highway would pass through Kodimatha, Kavanar, Thaneermukkom Bund and Cherthala.
The 14.5-km stretch from Kodimatha to Kavanar will bypasses Kottayam town and pass through paddy fields and streams besides crossing the Kollam-Kottapuram National Waterway.
The Kavanar-Thaneermukkom Bund stretch will use certain stretches of the existing road.
From the Bund Junction, a new alignment is proposed through the paddy fields, which will join Cherthala.
The stretch will link two heavily frequented corridors-National Highway 47 and State Highway 1, also known as Main Central (MC) Road.