The Kerala government is all set to invest Rs 10,710 crore for infrastructure development, including mono rail projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, over the next three years. The programme also includes road improvement projects in seven cities across the state with an investment of Rs 3,500 crore.
Public works minister VK Ibrahim Kunju said the Cabinet had given the administrative sanction for development of 1,204 km roads, which include state highways and district roads, with an investment of Rs 4,000 crore.
The road would be implemented in two packages — rehabilitation and upgradation. Under rehabilitation, there would not be land acquisition, but the roads would be constructed on international standard. Under upgradation, minimum land required for widening would be acquired. This is mainly for the development of busy junctions in various parts of the state.
In the rehabilitation scheme, 551 km roads would be developed while it would be 653 km as part of upgradation.
For the development of state and district level roads, the government had already formed a special purpose vehicle, Road Infrastructure Company Kerala fully owned by the government, he said. The state would incur the full cost and there would not be toll/fee on these roads, according to him.
The government has also decided to take back 800 km roads under state highways, apart from NH 17 and 47, from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). It had earlier signed an MoU with NHAI for development and maintenance of these roads.
Stating that local companies were interested in developing roads, he said the government might opt for public-private partnership or the build, operate, transfer mode.
It has proposed to develop infrastructure facilities with the active participation of the people and had proposed PPPP (Public, Private, Peoples Participation) mode for the purpose.
Mono rail The Rs 1,760-crore Kozhikode mono rail project would be completed in four years while the detailed project report for the Thiruvananthapuram mono rail project would be submitted on December 11, the minister said.
Meanwhile, inaugurating the three-day Infrastructure Conference chief minister Oommen Chandy said the state government had floated Kerala Mono Rail Corporation, a special purpose vehicle to implement the project.
He also categorically stated the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) would take up the Kochi metro project and E Sreedharan would head it.
The High Court building and the Advocate General Office would be built according to the green building concept, which was the outcome of the first Infrastructure Conference, held in 2011 at Thiruvananthapuram, he said.
The government was also planning to build flyovers in major cities to tackle traffic, and in the first phase four flyovers would be built in Kochi.
Speaking at the inaugural function, Kunju said state level roads would be brought under the Performance Maintenance Guarantee scheme, whereby contractors would be bound to guarantee the maintenance of roads for five year from laying. In the first phase, the 75-km road to Sabarimala had been included in the heavy maintenance category.
The Kerala Highway Research Institute will also be upgraded as a centre of excellence with the technical support of Spanish company, Elsamer. An MoU in this regard was handed over to Aurelio Ruiz Rubio, director of Elsamer.