Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will inaugurate the Kuttippuram-Ponnani stretch of the 111.73 km long high way project to Edapally on NH 17 on January 16..
The 11.4 kilometre stretch of the highway from Kuttippuram to Ponnani that will start from the Mini Pamba region near to the Kuttippuram bridge will pass through Ayankalam, Thandilam, before it reaches Chamravattom junction at Ponnani. The second stretch work to Puthuponnani is progressing with the work of a bridge constructionnow underway.
Giving a major boost to the development of the areas along the highway corridor, the highway, passing through Malapuram, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts. connects Kuttipuram on northern side and Edapally on the southern side.
The new Highway also leads to Mangalore, Goa and Mumbai from Kuttipuram, forming an important link connecting northern districts of Kerala whichincludes Kozhicode, Kannur, Kasargod and Wayanad.
Considering the overall safety of traffic and minimum hindrance to through traffic, bus bays have been proposed at 70 locations along the highway. There are 17 number of major junctions and 33 other important junctions present on the road. In addition to this, a large number minor crossroads are present along the corridor which leads to intermediate villages.
Though the Chamravattom bridge across Bharatappuzha, which shortened the distance between Eranakulam toKozhikode at least by 40 kilometres, was thrown open for traffic years ago, the poor condition of the highway from Kuttippuram to Ponnani has forced the vehicles including buses to shun this route.
It is expected that with the opening of the new highway with 30 metre width, the traffic congestion on the NH to Thrissur route will be lessened to a good extent.
The construction work of the highway was started in 1987, but the work was stopped in the beginning itself following the legal battle over the quality of works between NH authorities and contractor of the work. The tender which was given to a private company in 1987 was cancelled and the new tender was awarded to the Kerala Constructions Corporation under the state government for Rs 31.14 crore. Four companies – Kerala Construction Corporation, Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS), Concord Construction Company and Eranad Construction Company had participated in the new tender process.