National Highways Width Reduced to 30 Meters

Published on: 02 Sep, 2013
Published under: Thiruvananthapuram District News

2 September 2013

Bowing to pressure from the State and elected representatives, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has agreed in principle to reduce the width of 829 km of national highways (NHs) being developed from 45 metres to 30 metres.

As a result, the 669-km NH-66 stretch from Thalapady to Kaliyikavila on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and the 160-km NH-544 stretch from Walayar to Edapally being developed under the National Highway Development Project (NHDP) will be limited to four-lane roads.

Opposition from those to be displaced, prohibitive cost of acquiring land, controversies over alignment, and pressure exerted by MPs and legislators had upset the plans to convert the 829 km of highways into six-lane roads.

The willingness to limit the width to 30 metres was conveyed by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes to Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju in New Delhi on Saturday.

The meeting was a follow-up to the meeting held in July in the State capital by Mr. Fernandes to discuss the development of NHs in the State. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had been opposing the move to reduce the width of the NHs over the years, despite it being taken up through several forums by successive Left Democratic Front and United Democratic Front governments in the State.

However, the Rs.750-crore four-lane project of the 43-km Kazhakuttam-Inchivila NH-66 bypass will be taken up by the NHAI under the build, operate and transfer (BOT) concept, as it has already been approved as a package.


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