Kerala: NHAI To Commence Work On Thiruvananthapuram Outer Ring Road Project By June

    • The proposed outer ring road around Kerala’s capital is significant as it connects two major economic growth hubs — Technopark on the northern side and Vizhinjam Port on the southern side of Thiruvananthapuram.

Work on the proposed Thiruvananthapuram Outer Ring Road (ORR)  project is expected to commence in June 2023.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is preparing to call tenders for a contractor by March 2023.

The government is planning to develop ORR as a four-lane (expandable up to six-lane) highway for a length of about 77.7 km, and around 348.09 hectares will be acquired for the project. The project will be carried out in two stages.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday (22 December) that the ORR is of paramount importance to the government and that the tender process will be concluded by March of next year.

This project is further bifurcated into Northern Ring (29 km) and Southern Ring (47.9 km) alignments.

While the northern ring between Navaikulam and Thekadda, the southern ring is further divided into two sections between Mangalapuram and Vizhinjam.

Section-1 of the southern ring is 35.3 km long and is between Thekadda to Vizhinjam Bypass. Another section is 12.6 km long between Thekadda to Mangalapuram.

The land acquisition process for ORR has already begun. NHAI and the revenue department have started laying the boundary stones along the project’s alignment. So far, the NHAI has laid stones along a 10-kilometre length with a 50-metre width near Vizhinjam.

“If there is an issue related to land acquisition, it will be addressed. The state government will look into the issue after holding discussions with NHAI. The demarcation is being done by the NHAI in association with the revenue department, and a Bhopal-based firm, Highway Engineering Consultant,” said a top PWD official, reports The New Indian Express.

The detailed project report (DPR) for land acquisition was submitted to the NHAI by Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation Limited in October. The NHAI completed the DPR and turned it over to the district administration’s land acquisition wing.

According to the DPR, the stretch runs through 31 villages.

The ORR project received in-principle permission from the Union government in 2019. The six-lane road will be 70 metres wide, with service lanes 10 metres wide, according to the plan.

Red line shows the route of proposed outer ring road for Thiruvananthapuram (Environmental Social Impact Assessment Report)

Red line shows the route of proposed outer ring road for Thiruvananthapuram (Environmental Social Impact Assessment Report)

In the first phase, the stone laying will be done along the stretch from Vizhjinam to Navaikulam and it will be done for Thekkada-Mangalapuram stretch in the second phase.

Ring Road To Transform Thiruvananthapuram

This ORR project is a greenfield access-controlled project on the outer area of Thiruvananthapuram city on the eastern side only as the Arabian Sea is located on the western side of this coastal city.

The four-lane highway will be enhanced to six-lane highway as and when the traffic count qualifies for six-lane requirements.

This ORR is significant as it connects two major economic growth hubs ie Technopark and Technocity complex on the northern side and Vizhinjam Port complex on the southern side of Thiruvananthapuram.

Beside four lane main carriageway (expandable up to six lanes), the project includes provision of two lane service lanes on both sides and an additional two lanes for mass rapid transit systems to be built as per future need.

With the under-construction Vizhinjam International Sea Port in the southern side of Thiruvananthapuram and developments in Technocity area on the far northern side, it is expected that there shall be strong stimulus to secondary development in support service sectors such as residential, hospitality, healthcare, education and commercial developments in the surrounding region.

Therefore, ORR is necessary to upgrade the road infrastructure in these areas and also create suitable logistic hubs to cater to the parking and goods handling requirements of the port bound traffic.