Kuthiran twin-tunnel work stalled after local protests
Kuthiran: The work on the twin tunnels at Kuthiran have been stalled following protests. The locals have approached the authorities against the drilling and blasting using boomers citing danger to their life and property.
The works other than that of blasting of rocks can proceed at night time only with the permission of the local administration. No works were carried out on Wednesday night.
The tunnel is expected to be completed by March 2017 but the company has said that at the current pace it will take at least 14 months to be over. The stalling of works has been apparently costing Rs 10-15 lakhs to the company.
The Rs 200 crore project is the first twin tunnel project in Kerala. The work, ridden with blockades, first landed in trouble with the acquisition of land in the Peechi- Vazhani Wildlife Reserve.
The work on 380 meters of the first and 190 meters of the second tunnel have been completed in the last four months. 945 meters is the total length of the project.
Pragathi Engineering was subcontracted the work of the tunnel and the company had brought boomer machines for the boring work. The trouble started when pieces of rock and rubble started landing in the houses nearby. The work restarted only after the complaints of the locals were considered but again ran into trouble when cracks developed in the nearby houses after the second boomer also started working.
A meeting held at the Collector's chamber decided that no blasting will happen at night and compensation will be paid. But even after this, the locals have again approached the authorities, citing the sound pollution and related extreme difficulties from the work. The seismograph records show the blasts are within safe limits. The company said its finances have been stressed and have warned withdrawal from the contract.