Greenfield Tourist Highway between Kottayam - Cherthala
The Government of Kerala propose to develop a Greenfield tourist highway connecting two important towns namely Kottayam and Cherthala. This stretch will also link two of the heavily trafficked corridors in Kerala viz. National Highway No. 47 and State Highway No. 1. The existing road linking Kottayam and Cherthala has poor geometrics and ribbon development, and some parts of this road get flooded during monsoon. The proposed highway will be of IRC standards, and will pave way for tourism and other developments of Kuttanad and Kumarakom.
National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) had conducted a detailed feasibility study, drawn up the alignment and fixed boundary stones about ten years back. According to this proposal the ROW will be 100 metres from chainage 0 to 14.5 km and 45 metres from chainage 14.5 to 28.7 km. Out of the 100 metres, 45 metres would be used for the carriage width, median, service road, footpath etc and the rest of 55 metres for commercial development so as to make the project economically viable. Thanneermukkom bund and a short stretch of the existing road form part of this alignment. It was suggested to provide two lane carriage way to start with and widen it to four lane carriageway in due course.
Salient Features of the Alignment of the Proposed Tourist Highway
The project is to connect Kottayam and Cherthala by a Tourist Highway corridor with NH standards. As per the NATPAC report, the proposed route for the project is Kodimatha – Kavanar- Thaneermukkom Bund – Cherthala. The alignment from Kodimatha to Kavanar stretching over 14.5 kms bypasses the busy Kottayam town and passes through paddy fields, coconut lagoons and small streams besides crossing National waterway 3. The Kavanar – Thaneermukhu Bund uses certain stretches of the existing road. From the Bund Junction, an entirely new alignment is proposed through the paddy fields and joins Cherthala.
Benefits of the Proposed Tourist Highway
The benefits of the proposed tourist highway are:
Reduction in travel distance
Tentative Project Cost
The cost for the highway estimated in 2002 was Rs. 187 Cr. (excluding cost of land). Preparation of Detailed Project Report for the tourist highway is underway.
Proposed Project Structuring
The project is proposed to be implemented as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project under Design, Built, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBOFT) mode with a mixed revenue model covering land development and tolls.
Selection of the Developer
An open transparent bidding process would be adopted for selection of the developer. Other alternate options like Swiss Challenge will also be explored for the selection.