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Kerala govt goes ahead with Wayanad tunnel road

Environmentalists had expressed serious concerns over the impact of the proposed 6.8-kilometre tunnel road
Last Updated : 02 February 2023, 18:25 IST

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Despite concerns expressed by environmentalists, Kerala government is going ahead with the proposed tunnel road to ease traffic congestion on the Wayanad ghat road (NH-766) between Kerala and Karnataka.

Difficulties in getting permission from forest authorities on expanding the ghat road have prompted the state government to consider the tunnel road between Anakampoyil in Kozhikode and Meppadi in Wayanad, almost parallel to the Thamarasserry ghat road. The ghat road often witnesses heavy traffic jams, especially during holidays as many Keralites working in Karnataka take this route to commute.

Kerala public works minister Mohammed Riyas informed the Assembly on Thursday that land acquisition steps for the tunnel were progressing and the application for forest clearance was under the consideration of forest authorities. "Norwegian technology would be considered for the tunnel. The tunnel would play a key role in the comprehensive development of Wayanad," he said.

Environmentalists had expressed serious concerns over the impact of the proposed 6.8-kilometre tunnel road. It is proposed through parts of the Chembramala-Vellarimala Camel Hump complex which is one of the ecologically sensitive areas of Western Ghats, they say.

Meanwhile, the minister also said that the state had submitted proposals to the ministry of road transport and highways for developing the Thamarasserry ghat road also. Options for developing the hairpins were also being explored. A ropeway parallel to the Thamarasserry ghat road was also proposed to the Centre under the 'Parvat Mala' scheme, he said.

Congress MLA T Siddique had raised the need for improving the road infrastructure of Wayanad citing the frequent traffic congestion on the ghat road. During the Christmas-New Year holidays, vehicles were held up for hours on the ghat road.

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Published 02 February 2023, 18:25 IST

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