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Old 5th March 2020, 17:58   #12451
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A short update from my Bangalore - Edappally drive on Sunday March 1.
  • Took the usual route through Krishnagiri, Thoppur, Salem, Coimbatore bypass, Palakkad, Mannuthy, Aluva etc.
  • Multiple flyover construction work happening on the Salem - Coimbatore sector. Detours are well marked, tarred and without any overdose of poorly designed speed breakers like the ones on Hubli-Chitradurga sector.
  • With the new FastTag implementation, it is now consistent at toll booths - Right lanes FastTag and left Cash only. Earlier it was always a pain in getting into the single FastTag lane especially in crowded booths such as Krishnagiri, Attibele etc. But there still are users who make some FastTag lanes slow.
  • Coimbatore bypass FastTag worked fine for me except that it charged me 90/- on my return journey instead of the normal 45/-. Will be taking this up through the dispute resolution process.
  • The road work happening at Potta can be a bottleneck at peak times. I saw locals/ regulars avoiding this by taking the left onto the service road just before the section and joining the highway after the signal and the subsequent flyover (this is in the Thrissur-Chalakkudy direction). Will try this myself the next time.
  • Kuthiran is all patched up. Couldn't see much progress related to the tunnel but saw some road widening work happening on the regular Kuthiran highway. I hope this doesn't indicate suspending the tunnel work.
  • Post Kuthiran too, upto Mannuthy, saw progress in more sections this time than usual. Now there are only a few and short sections with detours (except the longish ones at Vadakkumchery and Kuthiran).

Well, that ended up being a not-so-short-update after all!
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Old 5th March 2020, 18:21   #12452
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Kuthiran is all patched up. Couldn't see much progress related to the tunnel but saw some road widening work happening on the regular Kuthiran highway. I hope this doesn't indicate suspending the tunnel work.
Today's Malayalam TV news had report on Kuthiran tunnel work. Seems there is a new company employed, and they are hoping to open one tunnel by end of March (but we had heard similar promises few years back)
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Old 6th March 2020, 06:59   #12453
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Asianet News reported yesterday that the Kuthiran Tunnel would open this month and toll collection would start from April onwards. Locals are furious and say they would not allow toll collection till the underpasses and other related facilities are completed. I tend to agree with them. Once toll collections starts, there is no real incentive in completing the remaining work and like most public works in Kerala, will drag on for eons.
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Old 6th March 2020, 11:08   #12454
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Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Today's Malayalam TV news had report on Kuthiran tunnel work.
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Originally Posted by longhorn View Post
Asianet News reported yesterday that the Kuthiran Tunnel would open this month and toll collection would start from April onwards.
Here's the news report.



Source - Youtube
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Old 6th March 2020, 11:51   #12455
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Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Today's Malayalam TV news had report on Kuthiran tunnel work. Seems there is a new company employed, and they are hoping to open one tunnel by end of March
Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorn View Post
Asianet News reported yesterday that the Kuthiran Tunnel would open this month and toll collection would start from April onwards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post
Here's the news report.
That is great to hear. Hope they do meet this timeline unlike previous instances. I am going to take the optimist view that they'll rather view toll collection as a motivation to finish the pending work than drag it on. At least the toll collection may give them some cash flow. I agree that history doesn't support my optimism but still!
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Old 6th March 2020, 12:15   #12456
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Originally Posted by Mnjdnght View Post
That is great to hear. Hope they do meet this timeline unlike previous instances. I am going to take the optimist view that they'll rather view toll collection as a motivation to finish the pending work than drag it on. At least the toll collection may give them some cash flow. I agree that history doesn't support my optimism but still!
The guy who comes between 1:05 and 1:15 in the video (Shaji Kodangath, activist) unequivocally states that the company will be allowed to collect toll only after they complete the work on underpasses at Mulayam, Pattikkad and Peechi Road, the full works of the two tunnels and also drainage systems and other infra-level works.
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Old 6th March 2020, 12:40   #12457
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Originally Posted by binand View Post
The guy who comes between 1:05 and 1:15 in the video (Shaji Kodangath, activist) unequivocally states that the company will be allowed to collect toll only after they complete the work on underpasses at Mulayam, Pattikkad and Peechi Road, the full works of the two tunnels and also drainage systems and other infra-level works.
Kinda agree with him. I travel between Coimbatore and Ernakulam every week. We already pay tolls at the L&T by-pass, Walayar and the pathetically inefficient Paliyekkara. The stretch passing through Vadakkenchery all the way to Mannuthi are no where near completion, including the Kuthiran tunnel. Absolutely no reason to collect tolls in this situation. Let work progress some more, atleast the tunnel and a couple of fly-overs and then they can start collecting tolls.

Last edited by GeneralJazz : 6th March 2020 at 12:40. Reason: Spacing
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Old 6th March 2020, 14:41   #12458
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We already pay tolls at the L&T by-pass, Walayar and the pathetically inefficient Paliyekkara.
And the so called Kerala toll road with signals at every small intersection, not sure from where we adapted this design even for the newer roads.
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Old 6th March 2020, 14:58   #12459
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..drove to Bangalore from Calicut ... came via Palakkad-Salem.
Which route did you take - via Peringode or via Mannarkad?

What was the condition of the road?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 6th March 2020, 16:11   #12460
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Which route did you take - via Peringode or via Mannarkad?

What was the condition of the road?
via Peringode. After trying many combinations over several years, nowadays I almost always go:

Palakkad bypass-Mundur-Thiruvazhiyode-Perinthalmanna bypass (Jubilee road)-Tirurkkad-Manjeri-Arekode-Edavannapara-Peruvayal-CMC.

This has been excellent all throughout once the Manjeri approach and bypass were repaired. Recently there was a minor detour at Arekode which I expect to be done by now.

I time my entry to Kerala (Walayar) after 9 PM, so I go this route when all local traffic has died down; it takes me about 3 hours of peaceful driving from Olavakkode till BMH.
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Old 6th March 2020, 18:18   #12461
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What's the update on Konkan road?
The last I travelled, the whole stretch in KA side was under four laning work. Has the work been completed?
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Old 6th March 2020, 18:30   #12462
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What's the update on Konkan road?
Not fully done. However, compared to how it was some 2 years back, it has improved a lot atleast south of Ankola. Few deviations here and there, apart from that nothing to be bothered about.
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Old 6th March 2020, 19:47   #12463
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.. Perinthalmanna bypass (Jubilee road)-Tirurkkad-Manjeri-Arekode-Edavannapara-Peruvayal-CMC..
Thanks, binand, that is helpful. Though, the latter part isn't the route I take - instead, travel via Angadipuram - Kondotty - Ramanattukara - Calicut (East Hill, to be exact).

Any specific reason why you prefer the route, which appears to be slightly circuitous? Your timing is perfect - either drive during that time or reach Palghat by 5.00 AM to reach Calicut by 8 in the morning.


I had once travelled via Feroke - Kottakkal - Pattambi - Shoranur - Alathur - Kollengode to reach Pollachi (instead of the Palghat route). Slightly better conditions - but day time travel meant it took almost 7 hours (with a break of about 30 minutes) in between at Shoranur.
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Old 6th March 2020, 21:10   #12464
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Any specific reason why you prefer the route, which appears to be slightly circuitous?
It is not, actually. The extra is ~10 km via Manjeri for my destination (near BMH). There are two related reasons to prefer this route:

1. Past 9 PM, numerous long distance trucks - articulated, car-carriers, cargo laden, all types - enter NH 966, a road they are not allowed to enter during daytime. These slow-moving long convoys make it very tough to drive on this road.

2. There are a dozen or more flights that land and take-off during the night at Calicut International Airport. Consequently there are several Innovas and Travellers that take passengers from & to various corners of the districts plying at this time - often driven by certifiable madmen.

The combination of these two is explosive. In contrast, the route via Manjeri is extremely peaceful, with activity only at the two medical colleges that fall on this route.

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I had once travelled via Feroke - Kottakkal - Pattambi - Shoranur - Alathur - Kollengode to reach Pollachi (instead of the Palghat route).
I take the NH 66 only to go towards Kochi. It is a worse pain than NH 966. But that Alathur-Pollachi route is something I've taken a few times when the Walayar-Coimbatore section was under construction. It is extremely narrow and prone to jams, don't you think?
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Old 7th March 2020, 10:44   #12465
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... But that Alathur-Pollachi route is something I've taken a few times when the Walayar-Coimbatore section was under construction. It is extremely narrow and prone to jams, don't you think?
Thanks again. Will try it out next time.

Alathur - Pollachi is indeed narrow. After Kollengode, it improves a bit. However, the route has good green cover (reminding me of my childhood days) and also several vendors selling tender coconut, jackfruit and palm fruit (nungu) in summer, makes the journey enjoyable during day-time. Picked up some good quality boiled rice too - cheaper by atleast 10%!
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