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The road network is one of the most important mode of Kerala state. The National Highways, the State Highways, the bypasses and other connecting roads make the Kerala road network. The hilly nature of the State is the main reason behind the great dependence of Kerala on road transportation. Kerala roads are different in many of the aspects from other road networks in India. Kerala has 145,704 km of roads which consists of 4.2% of India's total roadways.
National Highways in Kerala
There are 8 National Highways running through Kerala. Kerala National Highways contribute 2.6% of the national road. The national highways in Kerala are in a good condition compared to other highways in the state. But they are not as good as the NH in other stated. The National Highways passing through Kerala are listed below;
Kasargod-Kanhangad-Cheruthazham-Taliparambu-Kannur-Thalassery-Mahe-Vadakara-Koyilandy-Kozhikode-Ponnani-Perakam-Chavakkad-Thriprayar-Nattika-Paluvai-Kodungallur-Methala-Paravur-Kottuvally-Konnamavu-Varappuzha-Cheranallur-Ernakulam (Edappally)-End point
Declared as NH in March 1972.
Total length;421 km
Enters the State at Thalapadi and joins NH 47 at Edappally .
There are 26 major bridges and 28 minor bridges in NH 17.
Parasala-Neyyattinkara-Thiruvanathapuram-Kazhakkuttam-Attingal-Chathannur-Kottiyam-Kollam-Karunagapally-Kayamkulam-Haripad-Amabalapuzha-Alappuzha-Cherthala-Aroor-Ernakulam-Aluva-Angamali-Koratty-Chalkkudy-Ollur-Thrissur-Mnnuthy-Vadakkamchery-Alathur-Palakkad Total length : 417km
Enters the State at Walayar and leaves at Kalyikkavila
Pettah Junction Thrippunithara-Thiruvankulam-Puthenkuriz-Kolenchery-Muvattupuzha-Kothamangalam-Neriamangalam-Adimali-Munnar-Devikulam Other Details:
Declared as NH in February 1989.
The National Highway 49 Enters the State at Bodimettu and joins the NH 47, it ends at Kudannoor.
Total length: 161km
Passes through Munnar
Close to Srilanka
Kollam - Kottarakara - Thenmala up to Tamil Nadu border Declared NH in January 1999.
Enters the State at Aryankavu and joins NH 47 at Kollam..
Total length: 81km
Muthanga- Sulthan Bathery-Kalpetta-Vythiri-Tamaraserry-Kozhikode
Other Details :
Declared NH in July 1999
Enters the State at Muthanga and joins NH 17 at Kozhikode..
Connecting Towns :
Palghat - Mannarkkad - Manjeri - Junction with NH No.17 at Ramanattukara
Declared NH in July 1999.
Starts from NH 17 at Ramanattukara and joins NH 47 at Palakkad
Total length: 125km
7. NH 220
Kollam - Kottarakara - Adoor -Thiruvalla - Kottayam - Kanjirapalli - Vendiperyar- Tamilnadu border
Declared NH in October 2000.
The highway starts at Kollam on NH 47 and terminates at Teni on NH 49 in Tamil Nadu.
8. NH 47A
Connecting Towns :
Junction with NH 47 Willingdon Island Total length:6 km
Kerala State Highways
State Highways play an important role in the transportation in side the state. There are 73 State Highways in Kerala. Some of the important State Highways are listed below;
SH1, MC Road
Connecting Towns :Trivandrum - Kesavadsapuram - Kilimanoor - Kottarakara - Adoor - Pandalam - Chengannur - Thiruvalla - Changanachery - kottayam - Ettumanoor - Muvattupuzha - perumbavoor - Kalady - Angamaly
SH2, Thiruvanathapuram - Thenmala Road
Connecting Towns :Trivandrum - Karakulam - Azhikode junction - Pazhakutty junction - Palode junction - Madathara junction - Kulathupuzha junction - Thenmala junction - ( joins NH 208)
SH 5, Kayamkulam - Pathanapuram Highway
Connecting Towns :Kayamkulam - Kattanam - Nooranad junction - Adoor - Pathanapuram - Pulimukku junction (joins SH 8)
SH 6, Kayamkulam Thiruvalla Highway
Connecting Towns :Kayamkulam - Chettikulangara temple - Mavelikkara - Chennithala - Mannar - Parumala - Travancore Sugars & Chemicals - Manipuzha bridge - Thiruvalla (joins (SH 7)
SH 7, T hiruvalla -Kumbazha Highway
Connecting Towns :SCS junction, Thiruvalla - Vallamkulam bridge - Eraviperoor junction (Kottayam - Kozhencherry Highway -SH09- joins - Maramon - Kozhencherry - Thekkemala junction - Pathanamthitta - Kumbazha junction (joins SH 08)
SH 8,Punalur Muvattupuzha
Connecting Towns :Punalur ( from NH 208) - Pulimukku junction (joins SH 5) - Koodal junction - Konni junction - Ranni market - Makkapuzha - Ponthanpuzha - Manimala bridge - Cheruvally - Ponkunnam junction ( SH 13) - Elamgulam - Pala town - Thodupuzha - Vazhakulam - Nirmala College junction - Muvattupuzha (joins MC Road )
SH 9, Kottayam - Kozhencherry Highway
Connecting Towns :Kottayam - Karukachal - Mallappally junction - Valankara junction - Kozhencherry
SH 10, Mavelikkara - Kozhencherry Highway
Connecting Towns :Mavelikkara - Puthiyacavu - Cherianad - Perisseri - Chengannur (Joins SH 1) - Melakkara - Aranmula - Kozhenchery -Thekkemala (joins SH 7)
SH 11, Alappuzha - Changanassery Highway
Connecting Towns :Alappuzha (from NH 47) - Nedumudy - Ramankari - Changanassery (joins SH 1)
SH 15, Ettumanoor - Ernakulam Highway
Connecting Towns :Ettumanoor ( from SH 1) - Kuruppumthara - Thalayolaparambu- Vaikom junction - Udayamperoor - Kothamangalam - Thripunithura junction - Vyttila - Pulikkal junction (joins with NH 47)
SH16, Aluva –Munnar Highway
Connecting Towns :Aluva - Ponjasseri - Kizhakkambalam road starts - Mannoor - Ponjasseri road ends - Perumbavoor - SH 1 crosses - Koovapady - Kothamangalam - Neriamangalam junction - Chenappara waterfalls - Deviyar bridge - Adimali junction - Kallar river - pallivasal - Munnar tow
SH 22, Kodungallur - Shornur Highway
Connecting Towns :Kodungallur - Kuttippuram - Nadavarambu - Pallisseri - Joins NH 47 - Joins NH 17 - Paramekavu temple - Viyyur - Mulamkunnathukavu - Vadakkancherry - Cheruthuruthy junction - joins SH 23
SH 28, Kozhikode - Nilmbur - Gudallur Highway
Connecting Towns :Kozhikode - NH17 - SH 24 - Velluvambram - Manjeri junction - Nilambur - Chungathara - Edakkara - Vazhikkadavu - ( Kerala-Tamilnadu border)
SH 45, Thiruvananthapuram - Ponmudi road
Connecting Towns :Thiruvananthapuram - Chullimanoor - Vithura - Anappara junction - Lower Sanatorium - Ponmudi upper Sanatorium
SH 42, Palakkad - Pollachi road
Connecting Towns :Palakkad (NH 47) - Athicode junction - Gopalapuram - Kerala Tamilnadu border
SH 53, Palakkad - Cherplassery – Perinthalmanna Road
Connecting Towns :Cherplasseri junction - Thootha - Perinthalmanna - joins SH 23
ROAD ACCIDENTS IN KERALA
According to National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), Kerala is the second most road accident prone state in the Country. The number of accidents and deaths are increasing yearly. Now the conditions in Kerala are very pathetic. On an average, nine persons die due to accidents and around 140 are injured. The State Government looses around Rs.600 crores every year on account of damage and properties in road accidents. The accident rates in Kerala and India varies very largely. The accident rate in India is 7.2 for every 1,000 vehicles, but in Kerala it is 15 for every 1,000.Although Kerala is a small state, it contributes 12% of road accidents in the country. On analysis it is found that most of road accidents occur between 9 AM and 11AM in the morning and 5 PM to 8 PM in the evening.Bad conditions of the roads, unregulated traffic conditions and the negligence of the drivers' and pedestrians are the leading causes of road accidents in Kerala.
PRESENT DAY SITUATION OF KERALA ROADS
Kerala Roads are the densest one in the country. The state has a property of 8,863 square kilometres and has 6,567 vehicles for every 100 square kilometres, whereas it is just 1,673 vehicles in India. Road density of Kerala is about four times the national average. This high density makes the traffic crowded and are often leading to many of the accident cases. This heavy traffic has been increasing through the years. But it is sad to find only an increment in the number of vehicles on the roads, not the length and width of the roads.
During the rainy days, the Roads in Kerala are like rivers. It is funny to find people moving by hanging their bicycles in their shoulders traveling through the monsoon food. Although it has been happening for the years, yet there is no foul proof plan to check this issue. What is needed is a channel for this run away water. This can be easily made if the canals near the roads are properly used. This flooding causes many diseases during rainy season and also causes heavy traffic blocks mainly in the cities.
Kerala roads are badly damaged during the rain season. This is due to the construction in unscientific manner. Many roads are being made only to make the people happy that the democracy is doing something for them. This makes some of the roads even not usable to walk in monsoon. This is not only the case with the local roads, it is also seen in the State and National Highways. Although, the National Highways are affected very less manner, it affects the State Highways very badly. There are many cases in which many of the buses avoid their trip during rainy seasons, causing problems to the common man.
The wideness of the roads is the another issue. Kerala roads are very small not only in the distance but also in the width. This is one of the prime reason for increased pedestrians' death in Kerala. Even the National Highways in Kerala are too short that two vehicles find it hard to move at a time. Many of the road blocks and accidents are the product of overtaking, which in turn comes out due to the less wide roads.
Another problem related to Kerala roads is the curves. Many of the curves in Kerala are so steep that sometime vehicles coming from opposite sides find it hard to spot one another. This is also a leading cause to the accidents. This is the problem during construction. The Government failed to take the land from the land owners during the construction of these roads. Many of the roads are unnecessarily curved. You can see that when there are better straight path availabilities available, the roads are made in a steep curvy manner.