Safety concerns in Kuthiran tunnel: Automatic turn on system of generator damaged

The maintenance works are progressing in the tunnel that was opened on July 31, 2021. Photo: Manorama

Palakkad: Safety concerns have been raised about the Kuthiran road tunnel in the Thrissur – Palakkad route in Kerala. The latest in the list of troubles is the delay in switching on the generator when the power goes off inside the tunnel. The tunnel went completely dark a few times in recent days when the power had abruptly gone off. It would be pitch dark inside the tunnel when the lamps go off even during day time. The vehicles enter the tunnel with their headlights on during the day and night. Until now, the lamps inside the tunnel never went off as the generator was promptly switched on. However, the tunnel began to go dark ever since the automatic turn-on system of the generator got damaged.

The maintenance works are progressing in the tunnel that was opened on July 31, 2021. Currently, the gantry concreting works are carried out in the 400-metre stretch towards Thrissur. Until now, the construction company had maintained that there was no need for concreting. However, the concreting works began after the National Highway Authority and expert inspection teams jointly reported that gantry concreting was essential. Meanwhile, commuters complain that they experience shortness of breath in case they have to stop the vehicles inside the tunnel for a few minutes.

Besides, the vehicles move slowly as there is traffic in both directions. Those who travel in buses and on two-wheelers suffer the most due to these problems. Commuters suffer such difficulties on a toll road that has high toll rates. Moreover, the first tunnel of the Kuthiran twin–tube tunnels that was closed for maintenance works on January 8 isn’t open yet. People are worried that it would create severe traffic blockades and interruptions when the schools open after the summer vacation next month. 

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