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Old 31st December 2014, 19:48   #8086
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by binand
Land acquisition is a complex subject where there is no one-solution-fits-all. People have built homes, businesses, their whole life in one location and now suddenly the all-powerful government comes and pays sometimes 30% of the land value and tell them to get lost.
This is a sensitive subject, I understand. Well if the government cannot find an alternate, drop the plan to develop to the road. But then the state and her elected government should stop complaining. What gets my goose is that Kerala Govt. for quite some time has been trying to get Central Govt. push-in funds and get the work done. Looks like Central Government has now called the bluff, and ask State Government also to play its role more effectively.

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The rail connection was originally between Guruvayur-Tanur. It was later changed to Guruvayur-Kuttipuram and then Guruvayur-Thirunavaya. I'm not sure where you got the "18 houses" number; Malappuram and Thrissur are among the densest populated districts of Kerala.
I don't have a ready reference for the number of houses. But after the third survey Indian Railways had called all the people for a meeting and explained their methodology.
Quote:
Quoting: "It gives 40 per cent of the Kerala’s rice requirement" and "is one of largest, highly productive and threatened wetlands in Kerala".
Wikipedia is a bit dicey as it may not show correct figures (it is open for all). Alleppey in that case should be producing more rice, and railways have put up new lines without disturbing the ecology in any manner. They tried explaining the same to the folks in Thrissur, Malappuram side as well, but they did not listen. So as I see it today, that plan may also get scuttled soon.

Quote:
local connectivity (Railways did start MEMU services but then from what I understand the rakes have been taken away for Tamil Nadu services)
Due to how signals, track circuits etc. work the double line in Kerala has already been saturated. So chances of effectively running more trains is pretty much difficult. I remember Rail Minister asking state government to help them procure land to add an additional line. In other states (like Karnataka) 50%-50% is the deal. The state government puts in half of the project, and railways bear the rest. In Kerala, the politicians expect 100% cost to be taken up by railway, where as they just sit and dictate on how and where to do things. For MEMU rakes also the same lines are getting used. So yes, even if more MEMU trains are introduced it would just add more pressure on the saturated lines. Yes, TN does take away the MEMU rakes for flimsy reasons, but there is a normal rake which gets put in place. So trains are not going away.

Quote:
some respite from the huge rush/waiting list during Onam/Mandalakkalam/Vishu/Vacation from Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai etc
Railways did operate a few "premium" trains during these time periods. And in some case they converted "premium" (high cost) trains to normal super-fast expresses. But if the expectation is that entire crowd of Malayalis from Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai gets an assured seat in a train to enjoy their vacation, that would be a very wrong expectation.

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Compare the train connectivity between Delhi and points in Bihar and Mumbai and points in Kerala.
If I get it right, there are more electrified and double line tracks between Mumbai and Delhi. Biharis also have the luxury to use any of the trains proceeding towards North Eastern India (like Kolkotha etc). Two major lines from Mumbai to Kerala are still single line, non electrified territory (Konkan Railway, and the Pune->Kurdwadi->Daund->Gulbarga route). And Delhi and Bihar are very close by areas. Railways cannot build special lines just because 18lakhs Malayalis wants to rush home for their vacations.

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GoK is OK with 60m but the think-tanks and opinion-makers want NHAI to come down again.
Who are these think-tanks and opinion-makers? . Most probably the politicians themselves, and perhaps their side kicks in the intellectual and media areas. From what I understand GoK and NHAI has agreed for 45 metres. There was some issue there again two weeks back.

Quote:
So GoK has decided to get rid of NHAI and develop the roads via KSTP. Some GoK maintained roads are not bad at all.
If GoK can pull this efficiently, then I think no body would obstruct. Because generally any thing and every thing is an issue in Kerala, including tolled roads etc. etc. So if you ask me, it would be better to have a "Kerala Model" for improving both road and railway network (and perhaps a strong water-body based network too). But then how this can be done, it all depends up on Kerala based political parties, the financial position of the state and positive support from people in Kerala. The message I am now getting is that Central Government is only interested in investing money based on working partnerships with state governments.

Happy New Year, 2015!!

Last edited by sachinpk : 31st December 2014 at 19:49.
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Old 31st December 2014, 21:43   #8087
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

State highways built by KSTP particularly in Central Kerala are some of the best roads I have driven in South India. Thrissur- Palakkad via Shoranur, Thrissur-Guruvayur, Kunnamkulam-Kuttippuram are all simply superb and built to standards. Palakkad-Kulapully stretch which I routinely use during my Kerala trips was built around 5 years back and is yet to develop a single pothole.
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Old 1st January 2015, 08:27   #8088
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
This is a sensitive subject

Happy New Year, 2015!!
Happy new year to you too. Apart from being sensitive it is probably off-topic here, so I've taken subsequent discussions to PM.
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Old 1st January 2015, 10:59   #8089
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Sorry for the back to back posts. Due to the time difference, "Edit" option is disabled.

I am driving from Perumbavur back to Bangalore on Sunday. My start time would be around 5 AM. We pack breakfast and lunch so food is generally not an issue, but travelling with wife and children means that restrooms are.

This part is more or less fixed:

Perumbavur > Angamali > Thrissur > Vadakkanchery > Kollengode > Pollachi > Palladam > Kangayam > Perundurai > Bhavani > Sankari > Omalur > Dharmapuri > Palacode > Rayakottai

My questions:

1. What is the better route to take for Rayakottai-Attibele?

Rayakottai > Hosur IRR > Hosur-Thali Road > Attibele, or
Rayakottai > Kelamangalam > Attibele.

2. What is the best route to pass through Pollachi town coming from Kollengode side and proceeding towards Palladam?

3. Should I take Sankari-Omalur or should I go to Salem?

4. Please suggest places with good (women friendly) restrooms in the route.

Thanks for all help.
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Old 1st January 2015, 11:28   #8090
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Palacode-Rayakottai - Kelamangalam - Attibelle will save possible delay at Attibelle.

I think its better to go via Salem since you are traveling during day

Washroom facilities are less between Palacode turnoff and Attibelle. Better, plan a break at Thoppur A2B.

Last edited by coolclouds : 1st January 2015 at 11:29.
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Old 1st January 2015, 11:46   #8091
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
What is the better route to take for Rayakottai-Attibele?

Rayakottai > Hosur IRR > Hosur-Thali Road > Attibele, or
Rayakottai > Kelamangalam > Attibele.
The second option used to be patchy (assuming you're opting for the route via TVS factory junction). You have to keep to lower speeds at a few places, if the status remains the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
What is the best route to pass through Pollachi town coming from Kollengode side and proceeding towards Palladam?
I'd taken this route last year, via Raja Mills Rd, to join the Palakkad-Pollachi SH and then take the New Scheme Road to merge into the Pollachi-Palladam SH. Had tried some other alternatives, which unfortunately turned out to be not worth the time.

Inside Pollachi town, there's a hotel name Sree Ramanuja - it's on the right side while coming from Palakkad side, at the signal preceding the New Scheme road, IIRC. Good food and clean rest rooms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
Should I take Sankari-Omalur or should I go to Salem?
This route via Sankari has worked out faster and more relaxed for us usually. However, there are a few potholes that are deep enough to cause a bent rim or a broken alloy if you're not careful - keep speeds low, look ahead, and you can go around most of them. Didn't find any decent hotels in this route when we drove yesterday.

Last edited by silversteed : 1st January 2015 at 11:47.
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Old 1st January 2015, 21:28   #8092
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

I am back from a 10 day trip to Kerala (this was our first visit).

Drove to Vythiri from Pune(via Tumkur) and then to Thekkady and Kumarakom and back towards Udupi (Karnataka) from Kannur.

Observations:

+ves:
Very good roads all over Kerala.
Very few pot holes
Hardly any speed brakers
No unmarked spped brakers

-ves:
Very narrow roads (almost throughout)

The NH17 (Kanyakumari to Panvel) is really not worth getting onto.
There is simply too much traffic and very less road width. There are some parts, where even Pune market roads are much wider. So, calling it a national highway is a joke.

There was horrible bumper to bumper traffic after Mahe (which by the way has very cheap fuel).

I am not going to use NH17 again.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 09:05   #8093
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
The NH17 (Kanyakumari to Panvel) is really not worth getting onto.
There is simply too much traffic and very less road width. There are some parts, where even Pune market roads are much wider. So, calling it a national highway is a joke.

There was horrible bumper to bumper traffic after Mahe (which by the way has very cheap fuel).

I am not going to use NH17 again.
Except for a stretch around Ernakulam that is 4 lane, I suppose rest of the NH's in kerala is a 2 lane road.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 09:51   #8094
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Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
[/b]There is simply too much traffic and very less road width. There are some parts, where even Pune market roads are much wider. So, calling it a national highway is a joke.
The fact that you felt Kerala roads are good in general is good to hear . The NH17 off-course is a nightmare. In towns like Thalassery/Tellichery the National Highway (!?) goes right through the market and the width of the road is way too low. I had made a trip to Bekal Fort (Kasaragod Dt.) just after X'Mas. After Mahe, I just handed over the wheels to a "professional driver" who was also with us. Or else I would have got frusturated out by slow moving vehicles, dangerously fast moving private buses etc. etc.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 10:09   #8095
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Washroom facilities are less between Palacode turnoff and Attibelle. Better, plan a break at Thoppur A2B.
The Thoppur A2B is almost always super crowded, including the BP petrol pump in that campus has a queue!

Instead, drive another 500m or so from A2B (towards the Bangalore direction) and you have an Indian Oil pump on the same side as A2B. Inside this campus there is a Raja Bhojanam, campus has good restrooms as well and place is not crowded

On my last trip, I met someone who mentioned that the Raja Bhojanam is going away to be replaced with a restaurant by the Chennai Sangeethas group, sometime by end of January 2015.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 10:28   #8096
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The Thoppur A2B is almost always super crowded, including the BP petrol pump in that campus has a queue!
Thoppur A2B also known as refugee camp in this forum, don't have very clean toilets either. A few of my relatives who took this route complained that wash rooms etc. are not as clean as it used to be. A2B I feel is just not interested to improve the situation here.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 11:19   #8097
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

^^ If stoppage is just for washrooms it is better to do that in Thoppur toll booth. They have clean restroom in complex alongside the toll. While driving towards Bangalore, take the left walkway after the toll booth.

Not many people know about this place, hence it is not crowded. Which is a good thing since there is only one toilet.

Since anyway you will be stopping for toll you can save time instead of stopping at two places.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 11:30   #8098
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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
^^ If stoppage is just for washrooms it is better to do that in Thoppur toll booth. They have clean restroom in complex alongside the toll...
Rest rooms attached to almost all toll booths on this route are decent. While driving towards CBE from Krishnagiri side, most of the Jeyankar & Divya Bakes tea stalls that dot the highway side have clean & women-friendly rest rooms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
Perumbavur > Angamali > Thrissur > Vadakkanchery > Kollengode > Pollachi > Palladam > Kangayam > Perundurai > Bhavani > Sankari > Omalur > Dharmapuri > Palacode > Rayakottai
Binand, I would recommend Palladam-Mangalam-Avinashi-Perundurai instead of the longer route via Kangeyam. This way, you'll be on 4-L divided highways a lot earlier, and avoid some of those small towns also.

Last edited by silversteed : 2nd January 2015 at 11:39.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 11:39   #8099
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Palacode-Rayakottai - Kelamangalam - Attibelle will save possible delay at Attibelle.

I think its better to go via Salem since you are traveling during day

Washroom facilities are less between Palacode turnoff and Attibelle. Better, plan a break at Thoppur A2B.
Last week i took the Attibele-Kelamangalam-Rayakottai road to go to Kumbakonam. This road is good in stretches. If you consider the bad sections, the top layer has come off and there are few potholes. It is good for driving though.
I would recommend Hosur-Rayakottai road any day. All works on the culverts have been completed as mentioned earlier.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 14:27   #8100
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
2. What is the best route to pass through Pollachi town coming from Kollengode side and proceeding towards Palladam?

3. Should I take Sankari-Omalur or should I go to Salem?

Thanks for all help.
binand, I returned to Bglr from Chalakudy on 30th pretty much on the same route.

Can you start by 4 AM? That way you are in 4 lane near avinashi before traffic pics up. I started from Chalakudy at 4.10 AM and was at avinashi bypass exactly at 7.30 am ( non stop but one hour driving in heavy rain)
There is a railway over bridge construction just before pollachi which could be a road blocker.

My typical stop is hotel Annalakshmi @ perundurai.

I suggest the omalur - tharamangalam road. Take left at the Idappadi road ( there is tata/Maruti service center on this junction) and take the first right leading to a small single lane road. This single lane road leads to Tharamangalam road after 7-8 km). This way I avoid getting into sankari town
Google maps - http://goo.gl/maps/AwCkE

If you go directly towards Salem town, You may get into morning rush hour traffic.
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