Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari tweeted that one side of the Kuthiran Tunnel will be operational from July 31. Kuthiran Tunnel is an under-construction tunnel on the Thrissur-Palakkad route. It is Kerala’s first-ever tunnel for road transport. The 1.6 km tunnel is expected to reduce the distance between the Cochi-Coimbatore route.

BJP Gujarat General Secretary Ratnakar posted a video and claimed that the two-hour journey between Coimbatore and Trichur can now be done in 10 minutes because of the tunnel. His video gained over three lakh views.

Several other Twitter users have made this claim. The claim is widespread on Facebook.

FACT-CHECK

According to the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways statement, the Kuthiran tunnel is 1.6 kilometres long and is designed through the Peechi-Vazahani wildlife sanctuary. This itself debunks Ratnakar’s claim. The total distance between Thrissur-Coimbatore is 114 km and the tunnel stretches for only 1.6 km to address congestion on the Kuthiran hill during the commute. The tunnel does not take travellers from one city to another.

The distance between Coimbatore-Thrissur (via tunnel) is 114 kilometres.

Even with the detour (without tunnel route), Google Maps shows that the distance between Thrissur-Coimbatore is 114 kilometres. This means that the tunnel does not shorten the distance per se.

According to Google Maps, the tunnel reduces the distance merely by 0.6 km and the time by 2 minutes without traffic. (Google Maps result of the route travelled via tunnel and without the tunnel.)

Readers should note travel time largely depends on traffic. As per On Manorama, while vehicles were earlier trapped in traffic blocks lasting several hours on the Kuthiran hill, they can now cover the distance via the 1.6 km tunnel in a minute.

To sum it up, BJP Gujarat General Secretary Ratnakar falsely claimed that the journey between Coimbatore and Trichur can be done in 10 minutes via the Kuthiran Tunnel. This is false since the distance between the two cities is 114 km and the tunnel stretches for only 1.6 km to reduce traffic congestion at a high tragic area in the route.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.