29 November, 2020

Road Warriors

A freeway to hell or heaven, Malayalees can't decide

Road Warriors
In controversy-ridden Kerala, a proposal to build a north-south expressway has kicked off yet another one. Those who support the highway plan hail it as a worthy futuristic "must-have". Its opponents, though, say it will "vivisect" God’s Own Country. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle. With three airports dotting the narrow stretch of Kerala’s coastline and a vehicle population around the 2.5-million mark, something has to be done. Add to this the fast expanding trans-shipment container terminal at Kochi and the fact that MNCs like car major BMW are planning to set up shop here, the expressway looks a viable alternative to the virtual death traps the state depends on now.

The new proposal, mooted by the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK), is a 507-km access-controlled high-speed corridor linking the north and south of the state. This is expected to shorten journey time from end-to-end to 5 hours instead of the 15-20 now. The pro-Left Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad though isn’t impressed, calling it " anti-environment and a...



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