Kuthiran tunnel likely to be opened by mid-March
The Kuthiran tunnels, which are in the final stage of completion, will be opened for the public by mid-March and it is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
THRISSUR: The Kuthiran tunnels, which are in the final stage of completion, will be opened for the public by mid-March and it is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Managing director of Pragati Group M Krishna Raju told Express the work of the left tunnel is almost complete and in another one week, vehicles will be allowed to pass through the tunnel. On the six-lane stretch of Mannuthy- Wadakancherry national highway, two tunnels are being dug through the Kuthiran hills.
By March, the work of the right tunnel will also be complete, he said. Though it began in 2009 with a set deadline of 2012, the six-lining works lagged far behind schedule due to the hurdles posed by land acquisition and objection from people. After completion, the new facility will turn out to be the ‘largest’ twin tube road tunnel in the country, which is constructed at an overall cost Rs 200 crore.By this month, the work for the approach road from both ends of the left tunnel will be complete and will be opened for vehicle traffic.
The work on the right tunnel can speed up only after opening the left tunnel, he said. “They cannot extend any further. Delay may extend the work and the setting of the Southwest monsoon may create huge problems. However, the effort is to complete the work as soon as possible,” Raju added. If the work is completed by mid-March, the National Highway Department is planning to invite the Modi for the inauguration.
Raju further said the Fire and Safety Department has conducted an inspection and the officer has suggested certain instructions like establishing a pipeline and others. Once the safety certificates are received, things will become smoother, he pointed out. The District Collector, Forest Department and Geology Department officers had visited the place and conducted inspections. They came based on the report the mud and stones were sliding down on both ends of the left tunnel, including in Irumbupalam and Vazhukumpara side.
Meanwhile, the lighting work is going on in the left tunnel and drainage work is also on the verge of completion. The asphalt work of the approach road to the left tunnel is also being completed. The existing road to the tunnel has to be lower by 10 metres to bring it to the level of the tunnel. Meanwhile, the work in the right tunnel is continuing. The concrete work is yet to begin. However, all the work is expected to be completed soon, he said.