Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday (Oct 13) laid the foundation stone of seven highway projects in Kerala. These seven highway projects, totaling 177 kms, will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 11,571 crore.
The proposed projects are part of NH 66 and will serve as a critical infrastructure link for Kerala connecting the state to Tamil Nadu at South and Karnataka at North. NH 66 is also a pivotal part of the upcoming Mumbai-Kanyakumari Corridor.
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) October 13, 2020
The highway projects for which the Road Transport and Highways Minister laid the foundation stone today includes
- Six laning of Thalapady from Km 17.200 to Changala Km 57.200 (a total of 39 kilometres) of National Highway – 66 (old NH – 17), which will be done at a cost of Rs 1981.07 crore
- Six laning of Changala from Km 57.200 to Neleshwaram Km 95.650 (a total of 37.27 kilometres) of National Highway – 66 (old NH – 17), which will be done at a cost of Rs 1746.45 crore
- Six laning of Neleshwaram town to Thalipparamba from Km 96.450 to Km 137.900 (a total of 40.11 kilometres) of National Highway – 66 (old NH – 17), which will be done at a cost of Rs 3041.65 crore
- Six laning of Thalipparamba to Muzhapilangad from Km 137.900 to Km 170.600 (a total of 29.95 kilometres) of National Highway – 66 (old NH – 17), which will be done at a cost of Rs 2714.6 crore
- Six laning of Paloli Palam as well as Moodadi Bridge along with allied works on National Highway – 66 (a total of 2.1 kilometres), which will be done at a cost of Rs 210.21 crore
- Six laning of Kozhikode Bypass from km 230.400 to km 258.800 (a total of 28.4 kilometres) on National Highway – 66 (old NH – 17), which will be done at a cost of Rs 1853.42 crore
- A 0.30 km long High Level Bridge over the river Cheruthoni at km 32/500 on National Highway – 185, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 23.83 crore
Gadkari also inaugurated the 27 km long highway from Kazhakoottam to Mukkola, built at a cost of Rs 1,121 crore. This project is expected to provide better connectivity to tourism sites including Kovalam Beach and Varkala Beach), and ensure better connectivity to historical/religious places like Padmanadha Swami Temple, Mdre De Deus Church (Vettukadu Church), and Beemapally Mosque, etc.
Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said that out of 35000 km of National Highways being developed as a part of Union Government’s flagship program Bharatmala Pariyojana, 1234 km is being developed in the Kerala.
Gadkari said that Bharatmala Pariyojana was conceptualized after a thorough scientific study of freight traffic movement between key origin-destination pairs to enable efficient freight and passenger movement. Gadkari said that many flagship corridors such as Delhi Mumbai Expressway, Delhi Amritsar Katra Expressway, Chennai – Bengaluru Expressway, etc. are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana.
The Minister informed that 119 KM of Port Connectivity Roads will be upgraded under Bharatmala/Sagarmala Scheme.
Gadkari added that Mumbai – Kanyakumari Economic Corridor with a length of 1,760 km is one of the corridor being developed as a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana. The corridor improving connectivity to the entire western coast of the country from Mumbai till Kanyakumari will greatly enable the economic prosperity of the region.
As a part of the Mumbai – Kanyakumari Economic Corridor, 23 projects with a length of 650 km are being developed in the state of Kerala at an investment of Rs 50,000 crore. He said, the corridor traversing the entire length of Kerala from North to South is expected to be the lifeline of Kerala. The corridor improves connectivity to major cities / towns such as Kasargod, Thalassery, Kannur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram.
Underlining very high land acquisition cost for roads in Kerala, Gadkari called making aggregates & sand royalty free and for exempting other road materials like iron/steel, cement from State GST that will make very helpful to Kerala for reducing the cost of road construction.
Gadkari also pointed out that Kerala has NHs of 1782 km length. As much as 488 km of NH length has been constructed during 2014-20, which depicts an increase of 569 per cent over 2009-14 period.