A tweet by BJP Gujarat State General Secretary Ratnakar showing a vehicle passing through the Kuthiran tunnel, part of the Mannuthi-Wadakkanchery stretch of the National Highway in Kerala led to a debate on Twitter over the actual time it saved post the opening of one side of the tunnel.
The Kuthiran tunnel had opened on July 31, 2021, shortly after Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had instructed to open one side of the 1.6 km lane twin tunnel. The tunnel passes through the Peechi- Vazahani wildlife sanctuary.
Kuthiran is a mountainous terrain on the Mannuthy-Wadakkanchery stretch of the Thrissur-Palakkad highway and is accident prone on the crowded stretch of the National Highway 544. On completion of both the tunnels, the travel time would considerably reduce since the tunnel through the Kuthiran avoids the vehicular congestion while navigating the hills.
Ratnakar tweeted the video praising the central government with the caption saying, "Coimbatore to Trichur Tunnel Opened. 2 hours Journey is now 10 Minutes. Thanks to the Govt of india Infrastructure development. May be no Media house will talk about such Good News."
In the 45-seconds video, we can see a person recording the travel on his phone as he exits the tunnel. Following Ratnakar's tweet, several Twitter users refuted his claim, stating that the total distance between Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and Thrissur, Kerala is 113.6 km and that it would normally take around 2 hours 25 minutes, citing Google Maps.
Coimbatore to Trichur Tunnel Opened.— Ratnakar (@ratnakar273) August 9, 2021
2hours Journey is now 10Minutes.
Thanks to the Govt of india Infrastructure development.
May be no Media house will talk about such Good News. pic.twitter.com/mTZy9H1Umo
This led to confusion as Ratnakar's tweet was vague and did not specify whether he was talking about the reduction in time taken to bypass the old route or he was talking of the total time it would take from Coimbatore to Thrissur. BOOM reached out to Ratnakar for a clarification and the article will be updated on receiving his response.
Old Route Vs New Tunnel route: How Much Time It Takes?
We compared the difference between the old route before the construction of the tunnel to the new route after the construction of the tunnel on Google maps.
We also found videos that showed that it took around one and a half minute to traverse the tunnel depending on the vehicle speed.
The tunnel route on Google Maps showed that it would take approximately 2 minutes to cover 2.1 km without traffic, and on the non tunnel route it would take approximately 5 minutes to cover 2.8 km without traffic.
However, according to reports, there have been several instances of traffic congestion, lasting several hours as vehicles navigated the Kuthiran hill before the tunnel was made operational.
"While vehicles were earlier trapped in traffic blocks lasting several hours in the Kuthiran hill, they can now cover the distance in less than one minute through the tunnel underneath," reported On Manorama on July 31, 2021.
There were also several Twitter responses stating that there used to be a lot of traffic congestion on the old route and hoping that the opening of the new tunnel would reduce it.
(Additional inputs by Sujith A)
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