State government’s NH width decision with an eye on poll: Minister

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KOCHI: Minister for Transport Jose Thettayil said here on Friday that a practical solution had to be found to accommodate the increasing number of vehicles on roads in view of the State government’s stance limiting the width of highways to about 30 metres.He said the crisis can be overcome by seeking the Centre’s help to develop other prominent roads in the State. The National Highways passing through the State together constituted less than 1,000 km, whereas there were many other busy stretches that needed widening and upgrading, Mr. Thettayil said while addressing mediapersons at the Ernakulam Press Club on Friday.

He termed the State government’s decision to limit the highway’s width as one with an eye on the coming local body polls. The huge increase in the number of vehicles and the anticipated increase in lorry traffic after the Vallarpadam container transhipment terminal is commissioned would make commuting difficult through the narrow National Highways. The Cochin Port Trust had stated that even if 50 per cent of containers from the proposed Vallarpadam container terminal were transported through rail, six containers would have to be taken to different parts of the State every minute from Kochi, through congested highly accident-prone roads.

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