Kanhangad: The Kasargod District High Range Development Council has put forward a need for a new high range road that will connect Gokarna to Kanyakumari. The route should aim at connecting all the major tourist and pilgrim centres in Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu. A detailed study conducted on the various places in question including a roadmap for the project has been submitted by the action council to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
The route that starts at Gokarna going via Kollur Mookambika Temple, Sabarimala finally reaches Kanyakumari. The proposed route will connect all the 13 districts of Kerala except for Alleppey. The 1350 km long highway will cover 17 districts on the whole like in Karnataka, the areas covered are North Kanara, Udduppi, South Kanara, while in Tamil Nadu it will include Kanyakumari.
An encouraging fact is that almost 95 percent of these places have roadways in place and this only needs to be connected at various points. A highway connecting Nandarapadavu in Kasargod to Trivandrum maintaining similar standards to that of the state highways in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka was announced in 1997. But the declaration still seems to be only in paper without much progress along those lines.
For the proposed project to be completed the remaining 5 percent of roads should be in place in Kerala. These are required in the tribal and forest belts of Malappuram and Thrissur. The new high range route can be completed by developing new roads and by working on the existing roads, says the Council President A. U. Thomas and Secretary Joseph Kanakamotta. As per the plan drawn up, the pilgrim centres across the South like Murudeshwaram Temple, Kollur, Dharmasthala, Kukke Subramaniya, Thalakaveri, Kottiyur, Malayattur, Sabarimala, Bharananganam could be connected. Along with this, most of the popular tourist places in the Western Ghats have been included in the plan as well.
The Mangalore-Hassan pathway will be linked at Subramaniya, the Shornur – Nilambur roadway will connect at Nilambur, the Tamil Nadu route will be linked at Palakkad whereas the Kollam-Madurai route will be linked at Punalur. The proposed Kanhangad-Kaniyur route will also feature in the new high range highway route.