Wayanad-Kozhikode tunnel road project: Land acquisition nearly over, work likely to begin in August

Kozhikode-Wayanad tunnel route
The project does not require all approvals from the Centre as the tunnel is not part of any National or State Highway. Photo: Manorama

Kalpetta: The work on tunnel road project, linking Wayanad with Kozhikode district as an alternative to the existing Thamarassery Ghat road (NH 766) is set to begin within two months.
One among the prestigious projects of the LDF government, preparations are in place to launch the construction works of the 8.17 km long Kozhikode-Wayanad Tunnel Road project with twin tunnels (Cost Rs.2149 crore) which is expected to kick-start by August. For almost a decade, the Ghat section of the road was a nightmare for commuters as the heavy traffic through the road caused hours’ long traffic jams along the 9 km stretch of the NH 766.

The land acquisition on both sides at Wayanad and Kozhikode districts, are almost over. On the Kozhikode side as many as 9.3037 hectares land out of 11.1582 hectares earmarked for the project, has been acquired and already handed over to PWD on June 6. The procedures for the acquisition of remaining 1.85 hectares land also are underway. On the Wayanad side the land acquisition was completed and the entire land of 8.32 hectares was handed over to the PWD on May 31.

Environmental clearance is still being awaited for the project. An amount of Rs. 3,80,48,123/- has been transferred to the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning (CAMPA) account of the state government and an equal extent of private land has been already acquired. The Environment Impact Study also has been completed. Thiruvambadi MLA Linto Joseph told Onmanorama that the procedures for the award of contract for executing the project are expected to be finalized by the end of June.

''Even then those who win the bid can take one month period for executing the contract and work may start by August,'' he said, adding that as the monsoon would be at its peak, weather will be crucial for finalising the date of launching the project. The project connects Kozhikode district with Wayanad district through a parallel tunnel road connecting Marippuzha in Thiruvambadi, Kozhikode with Kalladi in Meppadi in Wayanad.

The entire fund for the project has been already allotted under the KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) scheme. In addition, Rs 108 Crore has been already sanctioned for the construction of an approach road from Thiruvambadi to Marippuzha (17.5 km) the work of which has been allotted to the Uralungal Labour Contract Society. The survey for the tunnel started in September 2020. Being enlisted among the 30 prime projects of the LDF government, the Chief Minister directly monitors the progress of the project every three months.

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