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Infrastructure in Kerala

While Kerala is unique amoung Indian states with a higher level of Social Infrastructure and services infrastructure, comparable with that of many advanced countries , there is an inadequacy in economic infrastructure , especially the manufacturing base, power generation, Agriculture Infrastructure such as irrigation and Transport .

For instance , we have extensive power distribution infrastructure , reaching even remote rural areas. All our all villages are electrified. But against an annual electricity consumption of 18426 million units, our generation is 7343 million units. So is the case of food grains , vegetables and manufactured goods. This imbalance makes Kerala , a consumer state propped up by services sector and remittances made by Non resident Keralites spread across the globe. The state holds significant potential for developing infrastructure facilities in the fields of power, transport system, airports, harbours and communication

Transport Infrastructure in Kerala

The present transport infrastructure in Kerala is given in table

Roads Railways Inland waterways Air Route Airports Sea Ports
3.72 lakh km 1050 route km 1687 km 111 statute miles 4 11

State Government is on an overdrive to complete infrastructural projects, particularly Kannur Airport, Kochi Metro, Light Metro at Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikkode and Kochi Water Metro. Light Metro is our effort to reduce traffic congestions and pollution in our cities. Kannur Airport is set to become one of the biggest airport of India once it is operational by end of year 2017. Efforts are on to develop our National Highways maintaining international standards, with a width of 45 metres as well. Construction of Kochi Water Metro has been initiated as part of the development of the water transport sector which is waste free and less accident prone. Renovation of our district roads as well as rural roads along with the smart road project will also be implemented without delay.

Road Network in Kerala

Kerala is better placed than most other States, as regards road length, But condition of many of these roads is very poor. Therefore, the main emphasis under road development in Kerala has been on improvement and upgradation of existing roads rather than construction of new roads.

Highways (Km) National Highway NH per sq km State Highway SH per sq km Total Highways Highways per sq km
Kerala 1457 0.38 4341 0.11 5798 0.49
All India 5798 0.23 163898 0.05 240715 0.28

Inland Waterways

Water ways are highways charted by God . Inland Water Transport, is a fuel efficient and environment friendly mode of transportation Waterways have always been an important mode of transport in Kerala. The total length of navigable route in Kerala is 1,900 km and the navigable rivers constitute about 54 per cent of the waterways. The 41 West-flowing rivers together with the backwaters are an integrated part of the inland navigation system in Kerala. Kerala's backwaters offer incomparable beauty and unique experience which have contributed to its inclusion in the list of 50 must see places in the world.

The first National Waterway in the country with 24-hour navigation facilities along the entire stretch is the National Waterway No 3 in Kerala . It extends to 205 km in three stretches (table ) and is under the National Waterway Authority of India

National Waterway No 3
West coast canal (Kottapuram - Kollam) 168 km
Udyogmandal canal (Kochi Pathalam bridge) 23 km
Champakara canal (Kochi - Ambalamugal) 14 km
Total 205 km

The Inland Canals used to play an important role in the economy of the state in the bye gone era . The main constraints to the expansion of Inland Water transport in the State are lack of depth in the waterway caused by silting, lack of maintenance of navigation system and bank protection, accelerated growth of the water hyacinth, lack of modern inland craft terminals and cargo handling system .

The Government agencies engaged in the development of Inland Water Transport in the State are Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation Department (CSIND), State Water Transport Department (SWTD) and Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation Ltd. (KSINC).

An initiative of the Govt of Kerala to tap the potential of water transport is the Kochi Water Metro . It is an integrated water transport project in Greater Kochi region proposed by Kochi Metro Rail Limited. It will be developed as a feeder service to the Kochi Metro rail. It is expected to start operations by 2017, and be fully operational by 2019

Sea Ports in Kerala

The geographical location of Kerala is very close to international shipping route. The state , with a coastline of 590 kilometers, has 18 sea ports

Present Operational Sea Ports in Kerala

Major Port 1 Kochi
Intermediate Ports 3 Neendakara, Alappuzha, Kozhikkode
Minor Ports 14 Vizhinjam, Valiyathura, Thankasserry, Kayamkulam, Manakkodam, Munambam, Ponnani, Beypore, Vadakara, Thalasserry, Manjeswaram, Neeleswaram, Kannur, Azhikkal and Kasaragode
Total 18 Major port is under Ministry of Shipping , Govt of India.
Intermediate & Minor ports are under State Govt

Intermediate ports have facilities for berthing, cargo handling and storage facilities. Most of the minor and intermediate ports in the State are seasonal in nature with insufficient infrastructure to handle even medium and small sized vessels throughout the year. Currently cargo operations take place only in four ports,

Port Category Cargo handled in MT/pa
Kochi Major 25 million
Beypore Minor 50000
Azhikkal Minor 5000
Vizhinjam Minor 1000

The remaining ports in Kerala are now defunct due to various reasons

Upcoming Sea Port Projects

In order to promote industrial activity in the State, Government of Kerala has identified the port sector as a major thrust area. Recognizing the need to develop the ports in a time bound manner, Government has decided to encourage private sector participation in the sector in line with the reforms initiated by the Government of India
Vizhinjam International Seaport is such a new venture under PPP model . The present Vizhinjam natural port (16 km away from State Capital and only 10 nautical miles from the major international sea route and East-West shipping axis ) is being developed into a green field International deep water Multipurpose Seaport , Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) a special purpose Government company, fully owned by Govt of Kerala is implementing this project through PPP- BOT model at a cost of Rs.7524 cr

Civil Aviation Infrastructure

Kerala has 3 international airports (two under AAI and one under state ownership).

Name of Airport Category Ownership Passenger traffic 2016-17
Thiruvananthapuram International Airports Authority of India (AAI) 37 lakhs
Kochi International Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) 89 lakhs
Kozhikode International Airports Authority of India (AAI) 24 lakhs

Together, the three airports operated more than 70000 flights ( 55000 plus International and 15000 plus domestic ) and handled a passenger traffic of 1.50 crores in 2016-17

Upcoming Airport Project – KIAL

The fourth international airport of in the state is nearing completion at Kannur –the Kannur International Airport, built by the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) , a Public Ltd Company set up by the Govt of Kerala . It is the second PPP model green field civil aviation project in the state after CIAL

Rail Infrastructure in Kerala

Railway system in Kerala forms part of the Southern railways and covers 13 railway routes. The Railway Divisions at Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Madurai jointly carry out Railway Operations in Kerala.. Thiruvananthapuram Division is the largest Coaching Division of Southern Railway

Railway Infrastructure in Kerala – an overview
Parameter Kerala Southern railway Kerala Share
Route Km 1050 Km 5079 Km 21 %
Running Track Km 1684 Km 6950 Km 24 %
Passenger trains operated per day 165 1324 12 %
No of passengers per day 4.76 lakhs NA NA
Revenue Earnings  (2014-15 Rs 1867 cr Rs.7463 cr 25 %

Kochi Metro

Kochi Metro Rail Project (KMRP) is the flagship project of the Government of Kerala designed to address the transportation woes of Kochi City. The Project is implemented through the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) which is a Special Purpose Vehicle jointly owned by Government of Kerala and Government of India with equity participation. The Union Government gave sanction for the project in July 2012 at a total cost of 5181.79 Crore. KMRL has signed an agreement with Government of India and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) for executing the project . The first phase is commissioned