Roads in Kerala

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National Highway 17 (now NH 66) at Pappinisseri
Palakkad - Thrissur highway at Kannadi

Kerala, southern most state of India has a network of 11 National Highways, 72 State Highways and many district roads.

The Network of National Highways in KeralaMap

Distribution of roads[edit]

Agency-wise by distribution[1]

Sl. No. Name of Department/Agency Length (KM) Percentage
1 Panchayats 265421.120 80.00
2 PWD (R&B) 31811.601 9.6
3 Municipalities 18411.870 2.0
4 Corporation 6644 4.381
5 Forests 4575.770 1.5
6 Irrigation 2611.900 0.79
7 National Highways† 1568.0 0.47
8 Others (Railways,KSEB) 328 0.09
Total 331372.261 100

NHAI maintains 444.9 km and Kerala PWD (NH) section maintains rest of the National Highways from direction of MORTH

District-wise and category-wise length of roads [2]

Sl.No Name of District State Highways Major District Roads Total
1 Thiruvananthapuram 180.36 2420.430 2600.790
2 Kollam 123.79 2055.570 2179.360
3 Alappuzha 170.841 1303.120 1473.961
4 Pathanamthitta 249.194 1790.570 2039.764
5 Kottayam 406.531 3042.770 3449.301
6 Idukki 998.372 1853.390 2851.762
7 Ernakulam 325.206 2815.550 3140.756
8 Thrissur 374.033 1681.73 2055.763
9 Palakkad 245.987 1926.800 2172.787
10 Malappuram 374.764 2301.130 2675.894
11 Kozhikode 377.173 2063.930 2441.103
12 Wayanad 128.955 900.350 1029.305
13 Kannur 244.665 2013.230 2257.895
14 Kasaragode 141.78 1301.380 1443.160
Total† 4341.651 27469.950 31811.601

†Maintained by PWD (R&B) as on 31-3-2015

National highways[edit]

Kerala has eight National Highways which run for about 1811.52 km. Kerala has narrower National Highways compared to other parts of India. Kerala is the only state, other than Goa, which has requested for narrower highways in the state. NHAI upgrades highways to a minimum 4-lane, 60-meter-wide, grade-separated highway or a better standard across India. But in Kerala, National Highways are being upgraded to 45-meter-wide highways.[3] Previous Kerala State Government had requested the NHAI to reduce the width of National highways in the state to 30-meters, although neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are upgrading their National Highways as 60-meters or more wider highways, with futuristic provision for 6/8-lane highway.[4] The reason cited by the State Government was the difficulty and disinterest in Land Acquisition, which is the responsibility of the State Government. NHAI had stopped working on many of the highway widening/upgrade projects as there are opposition from the local population for highway widening.

Government under chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has taken steps to develop the NH 66 (Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram) into six lane. But, proposed six lane highways with 45 m Right of Way in Kerala will not have the wide medians to help the trucks and large vehicles to take the U-Turn without blocking the high speed traffic, which is a common feature in other parts of India.[5]

Six-laning of National Highways in Kerala[edit]

Kerala's first six lane National Highway is coming up on the NH 544 between stretches of Thrissur and Vadakkencherry. The project is proposed to be completed by January 2019. Kerala's first and biggest six lane tunnel highway is also coming up on the stretch at Kuthiran in Thrissur district. The work for the Kuthiran highway tunnel almost complete. It is the part of Kochi -Thrissur-Palakkad- Walayar stretch of four-lane NH 544

NH-544 Six lane Thrissur - Vadakkencherry

Bharatmala Pariyojana has identified 418 km of national highway and State highway stretches in Kerala. Keeping in view a futuristic approach, it has been decided that the land for any 4/6-lane highway road will be acquired with a right of way (RoW) of 60 m irrespective of the width of the carriageway.[6]

Kerala has not been allocated Greenfield 8-lane access-controlled expressways like other south Indian states as part of Bharatmala Pariyojana, as many brownfield projects of NHDP projects have still not started.

The PalakkadThrissurKochi stretch of NH 544 is a part of North-South and East-West Corridor of the Indian highway system. Due to the previous land acquisition crisis, NHAI had also stopped the feasibility study of the project under NHDP–Phase-III scheme in the stretch of NH 66 earlier, but has begun again after the strict demand of present Chief Minister.[7] There was a proposal for construction of standalone ring road/bypasses around Tiruvananthapuram City under NHDP Phase VII.

S.No. New NH No. NHDP Phase Agency OSM Relation Route Length (km.)
1 NH 66 NHDP–Phase-III NHAI 5828181 Thalappady - Parassala 669.437
2 NH 544 NHDP–Phase-II NHAI 5804290 Walayar - Edappally, Ernakulam 160
3 NH 85 NHDP–Phase-IV[8] Kerala PWD 5830968 Bodimettu - Kundannoor, Ernakulam 167.61
4 NH 183 NHDP–Phase-IV Kerala PWD 5830952 Kollam-Kundara-Chengannur-Kottayam-Kanjirapalli-Peermade-Kumily 190.3
5 NH 183A New NH Kerala PWD 5830954 Kollam Titanium Jn.-Sasthamkotta-Pathanamthitta-Perunad-Gavi-Vandiperiyar 145
6 NH 185 New NH Kerala PWD 5830973 Adimali -Cheruthoni- Painavu -Kumily NH 183 98
7 NH 744 NHDP–Phase-IV Kerala PWD 5804338 Kollam - Aryankavu 81.28
8 NH 766 NHDP–Phase-IV Kerala PWD 5828352 Kozhikode - Muthanga 117.6
9 NH 966 NHDP–Phase-IV Kerala PWD 5828374 Ramanattukara - Palakkad 125.304
10 NH 966A Port Connectivity NHAI 5828385 Kalamassery - Vallarpadam 17
11 NH 966B Port Connectivity NHAI 5828387 Kundannoor - Willington Island 5.92
- - - Total 1811.52 km

State highways[edit]

Longest State highway in Kerala (proposed) View at OpenStreetMap

There are 72 state highways in Kerala. Of them, MC Road (Main-Central Road), proposed Hill Highway (Kerala) and Main Eastern Highway are the largest. The respective State Highway number is displayed on the top of all milestones (black in colour in green background) on the respective road.

The State Road Improvement Project (SRIP) envisages to improve and upgrade 1200 km of State Highways and Major District Roads to enhance the capacity and riding quality with proper maintenance plan, road safety and reducing the expenditure on periodic maintenance. The project is implemented by Road Infrastructure Company Kerala (RICK) Ltd. Road Infrastructure Company Kerala Limited (RICK) was incorporated on March 2012 as a Special Purpose Vehicle with paid up capital contributed by Government of Kerala (51%) and Kerala Road Fund Board (49%).[9] About 29 road sections totalling to a length of 469 km has identified for rehabilitation improvements by the company. Rehabilitation project include strengthening/reconstruction of pavement/structure, junction improvements, provision of road furniture, bus bay byes and other traffic management measures. The company plans to upgrade 32 roads of 644 km. Upgrades involve widening the carriageway with paved shoulder (1.5 m on either side), widening of narrow CD works, geometric improvements, junction improvements, identifying the grade separation requirements, etc.

Sustainable and Planned Effort to Ensure Infrastructure Development (SPEEID) KERALA - Kerala government have formulated the project of constructing flyovers, bridges and roads at selected areas in the state in order to reduce the increasing traffic congestion. The project named as ‘SPEEID KERALA’ comprises 23 projects at the estimated cost of `10,000 Crore. The Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), the special purpose vehicle under the PWD, had been entrusted with the task of mobilizing funds for the projects. Work of 5 projects are in progress.[10]

The Kerala State Transport Project, costing 336 million US dollars (Rs 1612 crores) - of which World Bank financing is US $255 million (Rs 1224 crores) and State's contribution is US $79.00 million(Rs 388 crores), aims to improve traffic flow and road safety on Kerala State's primary road network, and to strengthen the institutional and financial capacity of Kerala's key transport sector agencies. The KSTP was designed to upgrade 581 km and cover 1000 km under maintenance in two Phases. However, due to several reasons including delay in land acquisition, only 254 km of Phase I road was upgraded and maintenance works for 1180 km were carried out from June 2002 and December 2009. The KSTP phase 2 envisages upgrading 363 km of SH and MDR, Road Safety Management and Institutional Strengthening of PWD. The total Project cost is 445 million USD out of which 216 million USD is loan assistance from World Bank.

Kerala Major District Road

City roads[edit]

The government is planning to improve all the major city roads in Kerala.[11] Roads in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kozhikode and Malappuram city roads will get some major facelifts through this project.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Economic review 2015". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ "Economic review 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 27 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Mishra, Mihir (21 January 2013). "Highway authority projects hit road block in Kerala, Goa, Bengal". Business Standard. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Kerala: Safety card wins six-lane highway". 20 March 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  6. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (25 October 2017). "Bharatmala: 418 km for Kerala". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Why CM Pinarayi Vijayan is on a highway drive across Kerala". 19 October 2017.
  8. ^ "NHDP Phase IV" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^
  11. ^ "KRFB eyeing districts too". The Hindu. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Infrastructure Conference 2012" (PDF). Government of Kerala. Retrieved 14 July 2017.


External links[edit]