Kerala Infrastructure

Kerala Infrastructure

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Kerala has the highest road density among other Indian states. Every nook and corner of the state has motorable roads with a well developed transport system operating in public and private sector enabling a seamless movement of people and goods across the state. The state has 8 major National Highways, viz, NH-47, NH-17, NH-49, NH-47A, NH-208, NH-212, NH-213 and NH-220, spanning a length of 1523.954 Km. The total length of the State road network in Kerala during 2006-07 increased to 162149 Km from 160944 Km in the previous year. Road density in the State is 417 Km/100 Sq.Km, which is far ahead of national average of 100.39 Km/100 Sq.Km. The length of road per lakh population is 509.23 Km, which is also much higher than the national average of 321.3 Km.

The Indian Railways has spread its impressive network in Kerala connecting the state with all the major cities of the country. A number of long distance trains operate from Kerala to these locations on a daily basis. The Railway division at Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Madurai (Tamil Nadu) jointly carry out transport operations in Kerala. The railway network extends over 1148 route Kms in Kerala of which 111.14 km are metre gauge. The total route length of Railways in Thiruvananthapuram Division is 625.80 km.

There are 3 International Airports in Kerala; at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode, handling both international and domestic flights. Out of these Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode airports are owned by Government of India and that at Kochi is owned by Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), a company set up by Govt of Kerala with Public Private Participation (PPP).

The traffic dealt with by the three airports has been growing steadily in recent years due to increased tourist arrivals, large number of Keralites working in Gulf and other countries and also as a result of the ‘Open Sky’ policy measures taken by Government of India. During 2005-06, 62390 flights (31225 domestic and 31165 international) were operated from the three airports. Besides expansion of the existing airports, two more airports are about to come up in the State, one at Kannur district and the other at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district. It will also help the tourism sector of Kerala with more connectivity and easy flying across the state.

Sea port
Along its coastline of 585 Kms, Kerala has one major port at Cochin and 17 non-major ports. The non-major ports are under the administration of Government of Kerala. Government of Kerala intends to provide a boost to coastal shipping with the development of ports, which will ease the burden on the heavily congested highways in the State apart from savings in transportation cost. The Cochin Port, with container handling facility, is one of the most modern international seaports in the country. It spreads over 827 hectares and has a water frontage of 7.5 Km.

An International Container Transshipment Terminal is being developed at Vallarpadam in Kochi, completion of which would make the Cochin port a major hub port in the Indian Ocean region. Government has also decided to develop a Deep Water Container Transshipment Terminal at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram through PPP mode. The Terminal when completed would be able to cater to container vessels up to 8000 TEUs in the initial phase and 10000 to 12000 TEUs sizes

Inland Waterways
Kerala is gifted with numerous backwaters, making it one of the States in India where waterways are successfully used for commercial Inland Water Transport. The transportation is mainly done with country craft and passenger vessels. There are 41 navigable rivers in Kerala, and the total length of the Inland Waterways in the State is 1687 Km.

The Inland Canals play an important role in the economy of the State as they interconnect the rivers, on the banks of which are situated places of commercial and industrial importance. Besides, they also give a connection from interior places to the West Coast Canal System. The West Coast Canal spans a total length of 560 Km starting from Kovalam

Kerala is one among the few Indian states which has the lowest rates for electricity for both domestic and commercial outfits. Hydel energy is the main source of power generation in the state, and the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is the sole organization to supply power to different categories of consumers. KSEB has an installed capacity of 2087.23 MW on its own, with another 570.016 MW contributed by NTPC and private sector producers, thereby taking the total installed capacity of State to 2657.25 MW.

There are 24 Hydel projects owned by KSEB and 2 by private agencies. The wind farm located at Kanjikode, Palakkad with an installed capacity of 2.025 MW is the only one of its kind utilizing the non-conventional energy sources. The Brahmapuram and Kozhikode Thermal Power Plants with installed capacities of 106.6 MW and 128 MW respectively uses LSHS as fuel and are owned by KSEB.

Communication Network
Kerala has a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, with the highest tele-density in the country. All the 988 telephone exchanges in the state are digital and are connected to the National Internet Backbone (NIB) by optical fibre cables. Kerala’s leadership in telecom infrastructure is further strengthened by the International Gateway facilities offered by VSNL. Kochi, the primary International Gateway in India, handles two-thirds of the country’s data traffic.

The state is a forerunner in several e-commerce and e-governance initiatives of the country. The district of Malappuram has even emerged as the first 100% computer literate district in the country. NASSCOM, the apex organization of the software industry in the country, has already rated Kochi as the second-best destination in India for setting up IT enabled Services (ITES) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) ventures.