National Highway -17


National Highway 17
;">Route information
;">Major junctions
From: Panvel, Maharashtra

NH 4 in Panvel
NH 204 in Pali
NH 4A in Panaji
NH 17A in Cortalim
NH 17B in Verna
NH 63 in Ankola
NH 13 in Mangalore
NH 48 in Mangalore
NH 212 in Kozhikode
NH 213 in Ramanattukara

NH 47C in Cheranelloor, Ernakulam in Kochi,
NH 47 Edapally in Kochi.
To: Edapally, Kochi, Kerala
;">Highway system

National Highway 17, commonly referred to as NH 17, now renumbered as NH 66, is a busy National Highway in India that runs roughly north–south along the western coast of India, parallel to western ghats. It connects Panvel (South of Mumbai city) to Kochi in Kerala, passing through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, and Kerala. It is the 7th longest highway in India with a length of 1,296 km (805 mi).

The highway is going on a major overhaul in Karnataka, where the state government has accepted the NHAI's request of international standard, 60-metre-wide national highway with grade separators, which is futuristic, aesthetic and eco-friendly, with tree corridors on either side.[1] The complete stretch from the Goa border(near Karwar) to the Kerala border(near Talapady) is being made four-lane, will be 60 metres wide, and can be expanded to accommodate six-lane traffic. The highway is being designed for maintaining a speed of 100 km per hour. In some locations, the level of the highway was being raised while in some locations it was being lowered by cutting hills. It was to maintain uniformity in design for speed.[2] There was demand for a narrower stretch from the general public, but the Karnataka government has not heeded to the public protests.

But, road widening in other states such as Kerala and Goa has not started and Kerala has requested for a narrower 45 metre stretch in the state. Initially Kerala demanded for a 30-metre-wide highway, but NHAI threatened to stop work in the state and concentrate on the other states.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India has proposed a Greenfield (i.e., new and parallel) access controlled Expressway Corridor connecting port cities of Mangalore-Karwar-Panaji as part of Indian National Expressway Network.[3] This expressway will be parallel to NH-17 and will be located majorly in Coastal Karnataka. Expressway is expected to be a 6/8 lane access-controlled 3D Right of Way designed Expressway.


It starts at Panvel, at the junction of National Highway 4 (NH 4), and ends at Edappally in Kochi, at the junction of National Highway 47 (NH 47) in Kochi. NH-17 mainly traverses through the west coast of India, sometimes touching shores of Arabian sea. The NH17 touches the Arabian Sea at Maravanthe in Karnataka and Thalassery in Kerala. It passes through the Indian states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.

The National Highway 17 connects cities and towns of different states as follows: Panvel, Mahad, Khed, Chiplun, Hatkhamba (Ratnagiri), Rajapur, Kankavli, Kudal, Sawantwadi, Panaji, Margao, Karwar, Kumta, Bhatkal, Kundapura, Udupi, Surathkal, Mangalore, Kasaragod, Taliparambu, Kannur, Thalassery, Vadakara, Kozhikode, Kottakkal,Puthanathani, Ponnani, Kodungallur, North Paravur and Edappally in Kochi.

NH 66 includes the parts of old NH 47. Kochi to Kanyakumari stretch of old NH47 has been merged with the NH 66.[4]

Road condition

The NHAI has got approval to upgrade complete stretch of highway from start to end to 4-lane highway, which will be 60 metres and grade separated. Out of four states through which highway goes through Karnataka and Maharashtra have got approval from centre for the 60 metre wide highway. Kerala and Goa have requested for narrower width of 45 metres and there is protest against the highway widening in these states.[5][6]

Tunnels will be constructed in the stretches where the road goes through forest or ghat section. As forest department does not allow land acquisition for road widening purposes, tunnels which can accommodate 4-lane expressways are proposed, in such stretches of the road in NH-17.[7] One of the such proposal is Maharashtra government's proposal of 1.4 kilometre tunnel at the Karnala bird sanctuary.

Currently, the road is comparatively narrow and without dividers for most part. Lack of dividers has led to increased incidence of head-on collisions between vehicles. At some places, signboards indicating left or right turns, speed-breakers, etc. are either damaged or missing. In addition to its narrow span, there are no guard railings along the sides of the highway. The sides of the road are at times at a lower level compared to the road.[8] Due to heavy human settlement around the highway and narrow span, the average speed on this highway is far lesser than compared to what can be attained on comparatively better highways such as NH3, NH4 or NH8. One can find carcasses of animals on the road, indicating the risk on inattentive animals coming in your way. Two-wheeler vehicles must take a special note of this. The road surface is uneven at certain stretches not just in rainy seasons, but even at other times.

At certain places in Karnataka, the surface is so badly damaged that the iron rods underneath are exposed. Presently, the work on widening this highway has been undertaken at certain stretches. Due to narrow span and lack of dividers, there are no separate lanes for oncoming traffic, driving and passing(over-taking). As a result, overtaking or passing is quite rampant. At times, motorists attempt over-taking even on curves where the oncoming traffic cannot be seen. Other motorists are advised to be on the look-out for such oncoming vehicles.

On 19 March 2013 a bus carrying over 50 persons fell off a bridge close to a river in Khed area of Ratnagiri district . 37 people lost their lives in the incident.

Complete stretch of NH 66 passing through State of Karnataka (around 296 km), is being widened and upgraded to 4-lane Highway.[9] It is a major overhaul, in which certain bridges are being constructed as 6-lane bridges for smooth movement of traffic. The highway in the state of Karnataka is being upgraded to 60-metre-wide grade separated highway, in which vehicles can travel at speed of 100 km per hour. The widening work is going on in the complete stretch from the Goa border to the Kerala border. The stretch between Suratkal (NITK) to Kankanady cross (Mahavir Circle) has been already converted to four lane.[10] The four lane between Surathkal and Coondaapur is under progress.[11]

The upgraded highway in Karnataka will have multiple flyovers, subways for pedestrians, truck and bus lay-bys, bus shelters, rest areas for truck drivers and general public. Traffic aid, medical aid and vehicle rescue posts have been proposed at every toll plaza, in addition to telecom counters and rest areas with toilets.[12]


Prior to building of National Highway 17 (NH 17) in the 1960s and 1970s, ships and steamers running between Mumbai and Mangalore calling at different ports were only means of transport along the west coast of India adjoining the Arabian sea. These ship services was abandoned later. The NH 17 connects the interior parts of coastal regions with rest of the country. The NH 17 connects the major sea ports of West India, Mumbai, JNPT at Nhava Sheva, Mormugao (MPT), New Mangalore (NMPT), International Container Transshipment Terminal, Kochi & Ratnagiri Port.

Hence this National Highway 17 allows for movement of goods by trucks (lorries) from hinterland to major sea ports of India.The trade and commerce in the region has increased due to expansion of markets for agricultural and sea food produced in the region connected by this highway. The formation of NH 17 has led to development of tourism in the region connected by this highway. Goa state is classic example of this development. Many industries have been set up along National Highway 17 taking advantage of connectivity and proximity to sea ports on Arabian sea. The highway was the only source of connection between areas in the coastal districts, until the Konkan Railway was opened in 1998, between Mumbai and Mangalore.

Major cities and places on the highway

Maharashtra state

Panvel Mahad Lote Navdi Rajapur
Pen Poladpur Chiplun Nivli Kharepatan
Vadkhal Kashedi Kamathe Hathkhamba Tarale
Gadab Bharana Naka Savarda Pali Nandgaon
Nagothana Khed Aravli Ratnagiri Kankavli
Kolad Asgani Tural Lanja Kudal
Indapur Asurde Dhamani Waked Vengurla
Mangaon Parshuram Sangameshwar Oni Sawantwadi

Goa state

Pernem Mapusa Panjim
Margao Cuncolim Canacona

Karnataka state

Uttara Kannada District

Karwar Ankola Kumta
Honnavar Murudeshwara Bhatkal

Dakshina Kannada (Udupi and Mangalore District)

Baindur Bijjur Maravanthe Kundapura
Saligrama Brahmavara Udupi Kapu
Mulki Suratkal Mangalore Ullal

Kerala state

Kurchipalla Manjeshwar Uppala Kumbala Kasaragod
Kanhangad Nileshwaram Pilicode Karivellur Payyannur
Pariyaram Taliparamba Kalliasseri Pappinisseri Valapattanam
Chirakkal Kannur Chovva Edakkad Muzhappilangad
Thalassery New Mahe Mahé, India Mahe Azhiyoor Kannookkara
Onchiyam Chorod Nut Street Vatakara Payyoli
Thikkodi Quilandy Nandi Kozhikode Ramanattukara
Thenjipalam Kottakkal Valanchery Kuttipuram Jn. Ponnani
Guruvayur Chavakkad valapad Vadanapilly Thriprayar
Kodungallur Varapuzha Cheranelloor Edapalli in Kochi North Paravur Jn.

Lifestyle along NH 17

The NH 17 passes through hills, forests, rivers, rivulets, and streams, generally flowing westwards towards Arabian sea. Most of region has typical scene like coconut trees dotted all along with paddy fields and arecanut gardens. The road is uneven, bumps, curves, steep rises and narrow paths in between hillocks are found all over this highway. As this region experiences heavy rainfall, potholes are present occasionally.

Even though language spoken varies along the highway, food of the people along the NH17 has some common ingredients like Coconut, Chilli, Pepper, Coconut oil, Fish etc. The region has higher literacy rate as compared to other regions of India. The building of National Highway 17 has led to rapid development of towns and cities along the highway.

Major tourist attractions

Languages spoken through NH 17

New number

As part of the rationalisation of highway numbering, this highway is assigned with the number NH 66. The segment of NH 47 from Kochi to Kanyakumari is merged with this highway, making it end at the southernmost point of mainland India.

Parallel Access Controlled Expressway

This highway is expected lose importance in Coastal Karnataka as Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India has proposed a Greenfield (i.e., new and parallel) access controlled Expressway Corridor connecting port cities of Mangalore-Karwar-Panaji.[3][14] This highway-expressway combination can be compared to Mumbai-Pune Highway-Expressway combination. Two-wheeler, three-wheeler and local traffic will use the 4-lane highway(without access control and designed for slower traffic), where as truck, bus and four-wheeler will zoom at the maximum speed on the access-controlled 3D Right of Way designed 6/8-lane expressway(3D right of way concept means adding the space (height) element to the usual length and breadth dimensions involved in road construction).

Some of the design aspect of the Expressways on the Indian National Expressway Network based on guidelines of expressway published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in April 2010[15] are

  1. Right of way spread on a sprawling expanse of 90 metres.
  2. Lane width of 3.75 metres, and paved and earthen shoulder width of 3 metres and 1.5 metres respectively.
  3. Median width of 4.5 metres minimum and 12 metres maximum with 0.75 metre edge strip.

The expressway will have five main interchanges at zero kilometres. Key amenities provided on the expressway includes truck lay bys, traffic safety devices, provision of guard rail, signage, traffic management systems, vehicular underpasses and pedestrian or cattle underpasses.

See also


External links

  • NH 17 Map
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