Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 28 January 2022 2.13 AM IST

No more controversy needed over Kuthiran tunnel


The long awaited dream came true with the opening of one of the Kuthiran tunnels on the Palakkad-Thrissur National Highway for traffic last Saturday night. The inauguration ceremony, which was attended by a few officials, was also very innovative. The short ceremony at the front of the Kuthiran tunnel is also a testament to the fact that such a ceremony can be held in a completely extravagant manner without the presence of ministers or VVIPs. Although there were no elephants or processions, it was a real treat for the motorists and the locals who had the opportunity to go through the tunnel for the first time. Any project related to the public interest should be opened as soon as possible after construction is completed without waiting for a formal inauguration. The Chakka flyover on the Kazhakoottam-Kovalam bypass was opened to vehicles a few months back in a similar manner. The formal inauguration took place days after the start of traffic.

There have been some controversies and murmurs in the political circles of the state regarding the opening of the Kuthiran tunnel to traffic. First of all, it is better for the country not to create unnecessary controversies. The controversy is over the chosen opening date. When the state government announced that the tunnel road would be opened on August 1, the central authorities rushed to open the road at 8 pm the night before. This is what that can be described as inappropriate. It would have been even more beautiful if the ceremony had been held with the state in mind. Any such development project can only be completed with the co-operation of the Center. As such, there is no question of domination or underestimation. Given that Kerala has a very warm relationship with the Union Transport Department and Minister Nitin Gadkari, there should not have been such an unpleasant issues. Publics Works Minister Mohammad Riyaz had said that the government was not adamant on the issue and that the state had already decided not to hold the inauguration. "The main objective of the state is development and the tunnel has been made a reality through the efforts of all," he said. Revenue Minister K Rajan's stance is also welcome. It is now at least partially a solution to the dilemma that motorists have faced for decades. Once the second tunnel is completed, traffic on this route will be completely smooth. The need now is to intensify the effort. The idea for the Kuthiran tunnel was born about fifteen years ago. It is not a matter of pride that at least one took so long to complete. In the case of NH development too, the Central and State Governments should work hand in hand to overcome the obstacles and get things done. The Union Transport Department has so far taken a very positive approach to road development issues in the state. It should not be ruined.

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