THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has given a one-month deadline to an expert committee to come out with a solution for the airport ramps which have become a bottleneck for the ongoing widening of the national highway. While the deadline ends on September 11, the experts committee, which included highway and traffic expert N S Srinivasan, will be meeting this week to find a solution.
The ramp leading to the entrance of the airport is situated on the service road of the NH. A stalemate over demolishing it owing to differences between various agencies involved in finding an alternative arrangement was affecting the ongoing NH widening works.
Considering this delay, the government constituted an expert team chaired by NATPAC director B G Sreedevi and has directed it to come out with a solution within one month. Thiruvananthapuram airport director and the chief engineers of National Highway Authority of India and Public Works Department are also members of the expert committee.
Mr. Srinivasan had already conducted a detailed analysis of the entire area. It is learnt that the expert team is of the view that demolition of the ramp is inevitable as it stands in the way. “A couple of options including raising the highway near the ramp and constructing a flyover were under consideration. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. But the option of retaining the ramp seems to be impractical,” said sources in the committee.
Meanwhile, there were allegations that some private establishments, including upcoming ones, adjacent to the airport were pressurising the government to demolish the ramp as it posed a hurdle to smooth entry and exit to those buildings. The ramps were constructed by the state government in 2010 as part of its commitment to the Airports Authority of India to construct the new terminal building on the Chakkai side.
About Rs 22 crore was spent for the ramps, approach road and a bridge over the Parvathyputhanar canal. State owned KITCO carried out the construction. There are also demands from various quarters to initiate action against those who decided to construct the unscientific ramp causing a financial loss to the exchequer.