• Land acquisition hurdle for proposed state highway

    The opening of the proposed Thuravoor-Pamba state highway which will connect NH47 with Sabarimala will be delayed further as authorities failed to begin land acquisition for Makkekadavu bridge.
    To open this much-awaited highway, the construction of the 800-metre bridge connecting Alappuzha and Kottayam districts should be completed.
    “The total length of the bridge is 800 metre, and 720 metre of this bridge will be constructed across the Vembanad lake. The remaining 80 metre of the bridge can be constructed only after acquiring private land from Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. We need land of only 25 families for constructing the bridge. However, four families were not ready to accept the land value we offered to them. We have offered Rs 5.17 lakh per cent to them. We have approached the district-level purchase committee led by district collector to convene a meeting of the families to settle the issue,” said PWD executive engineer Deepthi Bhanu.
    “The total cost for the construction of Makkekadavu bridge is Rs 100 crore. The construction work of the bridge has been entrusted with Cherian Varkey Construction Company. They have agreed to construct the bridge for Rs 78 crore. The state government has allotted Rs 4.3 crore for acquisition of the private land for the project. We have started piling works of the bridge at the lake portion. However, the construction of the bridge can be completed only after getting the private land,” said officials of PWD (bridge).
    It was on February 2, 2013, the construction work of Thuravoor-Pamba state highway was inaugurated by the then chief minister Oommen Chandy.

    The construction of Thykkattuserry bridge was first started under this project.
    Once the Thuravoor-Pamba state highway is opened, the transportation facilities, especially cargo movement between coastal areas of Alappuzha and high range areas will be improved. People living in high range areas will also get an easy access to Kochi via Alappuzha once this state highway is opened for traffic.
    The road will also become the main entrance to Kochi from Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts.
    It was on May 27, 2015, the then chief minister Oommen Chandy had opened the first bridge, Thykkattuserry, of this state highway. Then he announced that the second bridge – Makkekadavu -would be opened in 2017. However, the land acquisition for the second bridge has not been started so far owing to strong opposition from landowners. Frank Clark Jersey

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