Kerala CM inaugurates construction of Wayanad tunnel

Kerala CM inaugurates work on construction of Wayanad tunnel road

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. Credit: PTI Photo

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday inaugurated through video conference the construction work of the Wayanad tunnel road connecting the districts of Kozhikode and Wayanad.

It will be the longest road tunnel in the state and the third-longest in the country.

The state has earmarked Rs 658 crore for the project, through Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)

The Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) has been appointed as the implementing agency for the Special Purpose Vehicle project.

The Chief Minister said the plan is to complete the construction in three years.

"We are also considering the impact on the environment and the state has earmarked Rs 658 crore for the project, through KIIFB," Vijayan said.

The existing road connecting the two districts passes through a 13-km Wayanad ghat section road, with nine hairpin bends, known as 'Thamaraerry churam', along National Highway 212.

"This narrow and landslip-prone road gets crippled quite often due to one or the other reason including minor landslides during heavy rains," Vijayan said during the inaugural speech.

The proposed tunnel through the western ghat starts at Swargam Kunnu in nearby Kodenchery panchayat in Kozhikode district and will end at Kalladi near Meppadi in Wayanad district.

A bridge across Iruvanjippuzha will also be constructed as part of the two-lane tunnel connected highway.

The officials of the implementing agency, the KRCL, had recently held its comprehensive survey on the 6.8 km tunnel between nearby Anakampoyil and Meppadi in Wayanad, linking Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

Sanctioned as part of the 100-day special drive by the LDF government, the much-awaited project of the construction of the tunnel will provide a better and hassle-free alternative to the present Thamaraserry-Lakkidi ghat road.

The new tunnel once commissioned will reduce the travelling distance between the districts by nearly 19 kms, from a present 73 kms to 54 kms, between Kalpetta and Calicut.