NH 17 is a national highway in western coast of India. It connects Panvel near Mumbai and Edapally near Kochi. It runs through the western coast of India. It passes through Mahad, Khed, Chiplun, Hatkhamba (13 km near Ratnagiri), Rajapur, Kankavli, Kudal, Sawantwadi, Panaji, Margao, Karwar, Kumta, Bhatkal, Kundapura, Udupi, Surathkal, Mangalore, Kasaragod, Taliparamba, Kannur, Thalassery, Vadakara, Kozhikode, Kottakkal, Valanchery, Kuttippuram, Ponnani, Chavakkad, Kodungallur, Paravur.
NH 17 recently renumbered as NH 66. Kochi – Kanyakumari part of NH47 will added to NH66. But this is not updated in NHAI website. Also it is not updated on sign boards. But we can see that new name in google map. National highways are re numbered all over India.
In most of the places it pass through the coastal area and in a straight line. In Goa and Karnataka it runs through the western ghats.
The highway between Kozhikode and Edapally is partially geographically misaligned. Hence vehicles have to travel more kilometer ( around 40 km). Nearly 40 km and 1.5 Hour can be reduced between Kozhikode and Kochi if government taken some steps to make the alignment straight or improve the condition of other roads which runs in a straight alignment.
At present NH 17 after Ferok deviates from the coastal line and turns towards south east direction and runs through Ramanattukara – Kottakkal – Valanchery – Kuttippuram – Thavanoor – Ponnani. This needs to be aligned straight.
From Ponnani to Edapally it again runs along the coastal area in a straight line.
During the days the alignment of the high way fixed there was no bridge connecting two shores of Bharathapuzha near coastal area. The last bridge was Kuttipuram bridge before Arabian sea. So in order to avoid making a new bridge the alignment of NH 17 geographically wrongly deviates to south east direction and after passing the bridge it again correct it alignment at Ponnani.
If we consider the condition of the road in these area we can sea that from Ferok to Kuttipuram the road is in good standard, we can call it as an NH. But after that road becomes very narrow and curvy till Ponnani.
This is Kuttipuram – Thavanoor-Ponnani reach.
Sometime people thinks that the Kuttipuram - Edappal – Ponnani route as NH 17. Actually it is the part of 2 State highway. Kuttipuram bridge to Edappal is part of Thrissur – Kuttipuram SH and Edappal – Ponnani is part of Palakkad – Ponnani SH.
Kuttipuram – Kunnamkulam- Guruvayoor – Chavakkad route also mistakenly considered as NH 17. Where Kuttipuram bridge – Kunnamkulam is part of Kuttipuram – Thrissur SH and Kunnamkulam – Chavakkad is part of SH62.
Both 2 routes are very good in conditional, better than actual NH17. So we can’t blame people mistakenly consider they as NH. But they are maintained by Kerala govt. PWD so we can’t expect NH standards.
The reason for the bad condition of Kuttipuram – Thavanoor – Ponnani reach is there is a bypass work on going, which has a straight alignment from Kuttipuram to Ponnani, but the work going very slowly. It seems it will not complete in the near future.
Actually the road should be gone through some what nearer to the Kozhikode – Ponnani coastal high way. The same route I describe in the previous post. It has 166 KM.
Proposed Ponnani – Vengalam (near Kozhikode) is the right solution and is more straight than Chamravattom rout. Kerala government already started the project. Tippu Sulthan road which going exactly through the coastal area. So govt. planning to develop this road and make a part of the coastal highway.
New rout will be through Ponnani – Chamravattom – Mangalam – Asaan padi – Paravanna – Unnial – Thanur – Parappanangadi – Kadalundi – Chaliyam. And it should connect to Vengalam through Beypur – Kallay – Puthiyappa. That is by using the existing beach road in the Kozhikode city. Its already 2 lane.
Government also plans connecting Vallarpadam with NH17 by making Vallarapadam – Munambam – Azheekode – Kodungallur – Chavakkad rout.
So the present Chamravattom route and the proposed Ponnani – Vengalam coastal highway has very much importance in the development of Malabar districts. Kochi is very rapidly growing as a metro city and the centre of major development in Kerala like LNG terminal, Vallarpadam container terminal, BPCL, Smart City, Lulu international shopping mall etc. So connectivity to Kochi having low cost and cheaper to all other part of Kerala state is vital important to the future development of each districts.