In news – Recently, one side of Kuthiran Tunnel in Kerala has been opened on one end. The move will help improve connectivity between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
About the tunnel
- The Kuthiran Tunnel is the first road tunnel in Kerala.
- It is a twin-tube tunnel, with three lanes in each tube, located at Kuthiran in Thrissur district of Kerala.
- It is located on National Highway 544, owned and operated by National Highways Authority of India.
- The objective of this road tunnel is to improve connectivity between important ports and towns while protecting wildlife.
- It is South India’s Longest 6-lane road tunnel
- The tunnel is 1.6 km long and runs through the Peechi-Vazhani wildlife sanctuary.
- The road will improve connectivity to important ports and towns in North-South Corridor without endangering wildlife.
- The construction of two tunnels – each 964 metre long – at Kuthiran was to reduce the acute traffic block on this NH stretch.
- Kuthiran is a mountainous terrain on the Mannuthy-Wadakkanchery stretch of the Thrissur-Palakkad highway and is accident prone.
- Though the Mannuthy-Wadakkanchery six-lane work started in 2010, the tunnel work started only in 2016.
Peechi-Vazhani wildlife sanctuary
- Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Peechi, Thrissur District of Kerala.
- The sanctuary was established in 1958.
- It is part of the Palapilii-Nelliyampathy forests and forms the northern boundary of the Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It is the second oldest sanctuary in Kerala.
- There are numerous streams, flowing over the entire PA, which join the three main rivers Kurumali, Manali, and Wadakkanchery.
- It is situated in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani Dams.
- Its forest Types include Tropical Ever green Forests, Tropical Semi-evergreen forests, Moist Deciduous forests etc.