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KOTTAYAM: The development of the 1.65-km Kottayam-Kumarakom road, the crucial link connecting one of the hottest tourism spots with Kottayam town, has run into rough weather.
Now, Kumarakom is connected better with Kochi. The tourists who get down at Cochin International Airport are directly brought to the lake-side village often by boat. Hence, the nearest town, Kottayam, is denied the ripple effects of the boom in the tourist village.
The existing road is disadvantaged on two counts: It is too narrow in most places resulting in traffic blocks and secondly, it gets inundated easily during monsoon. The road development project has been bogged down by vast differences in the official rates for the work and the actual expenses. Contractors are not willing to take up the work at the existing rates.
During the last LDF government's rule the then MLA, V.N. Vasavan, came up a project envisaging a 15-metre-wide road with provision for increasing the height of the base up to one metre in areas where the road got inundated.
Following this, the work had started with Rs.9.53 crore for road development and another Rs. 15 crore for land acquisition for widening. The government had provided another Rs.3 crore.
The work on the first reach is already complete. However, ever since the administration changed, there had been a considerable slowing of the work, according to Mr. Vasavan.
According to him, the move was to stall the project citing the heritage status accorded on Thazhathangadi area.
But, the area notified as heritage zone did not fall under the road project area, he said.
With the monsoon having set in, the entire work is expected to be stalled. Unless the authorities take immediate steps the much awaited road development would be in doldrums, he said.
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