Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the project launch of the proposed Anakkampoyil-Meppadi tunnel road through videoconferencing on Monday. The road connects Wayanad and Kozhikode districts.
Mr. Vijayan said the project, estimated to cost ₹900 crore, would be the third longest such undertaking in the country. It would be completed by complying with environmental regulations.
The Chief Minister said the subterranean road to be constructed by Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. would reduce traffic congestion on the risky Thamarassery Ghat road. “It would also boost the domestic tourism sector and the trade and commerce between Karnataka and the Malabar region.”
On eco concerns
Referring to the environmental concerns raised about the seven-km-long tunnel, Mr. Vijayan said the Left Democratic Front government was in favour of taking a decision which could address the environmental concerns and bolster local development. “We are not ready to succumb to unwanted controversies,” he said.
In three years
Minister for Public Works G. Sudhakaran, who presided over the event online, said the project could be completed in three years. “The State government will sanction any additional amount required for the timely completion of the project,” he said. It was in 2014 that the government did a feasibility study of the proposal to realise an alternative road to Wayanad district. In 2016, it was officially approved for further proceedings and survey works.
A few months ago, the State government accorded sanction to the preliminary estimate of ₹658 crore for implementation under the Kerala State Infrastructure Investment Fund Board.
Officials who prepared the preliminary estimate said the cost of completing a 1-km stretch of the road, comprising a 70-metre-long bridge at Kundanthodu, would itself come to ₹150 crore.