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45m here, 30m there — that’s the way NHs in Kerala will run

45m here, 30m there — that’s the way NHs in Kerala will run

Four-lane carriageway having 3 metre median and 4.5 metre service roads planned in 30 metre wide proportions

The State government is finalising plans to develop NH stretches in Kerala at 30-metre width at places where land acquisition for 45-metre width is facing stiff resistance from land owners.This is expected to provide a fillip to widening Cherthala-Kazhakoottam reach of NH 47 where land was acquired at 30-metre width over two decades ago and Edappally-Thalappadi reach of NH 17 (where 30-metre-wide land is available between Edapally and Kuttipuram) into four-lane highways. National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) had de-notified the two stretches due to delay in land acquisition. The 270-km NH 47 stretch from Edappally to Walayar will however be developed at 45-m width. “We do not intend to back out of our declared stand to develop the State’s NHs at 45-metre width. But only eight hectares of land was acquired in the past 13 years in NH 47, NH 17 due to opposition to land acquisition for 45-metre-wide highways,” said PWD sources associated with NH development.

They said that the four-lane Aroor-Cherthala stretch in NH was only 22-metre wide and vehicles could commute at much faster speed than in two-lane NHs. They would be able to travel faster through 30-metre-wide highways since there would be 4.5-metre wide service roads and a 3-metre-wide road median which will help motorists take U-turn in a safer manner. Any future development of 30-metre NHs could be done by building an elevated highway atop the median, they said. The State government is keen on fast-tracking four-laning of 30-metre highways because of public outcry over worsening traffic snarls and rising accidents on narrow, but busy NHs. We had to choose between immediate development and the project hanging fire indefinitely, sources said.

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