Kazhakoottam elevated highway hits roadblock
Construction work of the elevated highway at Kazhakoottam has come to a standstill as the local police and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have been in a dispute over the frequent police action against the contractor and workers of the project for causing traffic congestion in the area.
NHAI officers alleged the police were confiscating vehicles used for the construction, taking workers into custody, and issuing petty cases on them.
NHAI told the media that the issue started when it served a notice to Kazhakoottam police station for demolishing the station's compound wall.
The Kazhakoottam police officials claimed that NHAI delayed the road's completion, leading to acute traffic congestion, and said that the stretch has become a "nightmare" for commuters.
Currently, the police officials are in discussion with the NHAI to resolve the issue.
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The elevated highway under the "Bharatmala Pariyojana" scheme is a key infrastructure project and will be completed at an estimated Rs 195 crore. NHAI said that on completion, it would be the longest highway in Kerala.
It will stretch across 2.72 km, from CSI Mission Hospital to Technopark phase 3. A total of 79 pillars, each 25 to 30 m apart, are being erected. Each lane of the four lane road will be 9.5 m wide. Once completed, the highway will ease traffic congestion in Technopark and make the commute smooth for passengers arriving from Kollam.
According to NHAI, the project can be commissioned by October. The contractor of the project is Rameshwar Dayal Sons and Cheriyan Varkey Constructions.
The project had hit a roadblock in 2017 owing to the delay in receiving the Letter of Acceptance (LoA). Land acquisition was also a major barrier as many landlords and residents opposed it initially.
Image: The completion of the Kazhakoottam highway is expected to make travel hassle free for 50,000+ Technopark employees.