Nitin Gadkari inaugurates 8 NH projects in Kerala; says works costing Rs 19,800 cr targeted to complete by 2024

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The Union minister said the Centre is committed to ensure expedited completion of these projects to enable economic prosperity of the state

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for 8 National Highway projects in Kerala on Tuesday.

The event was attended by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarai Vijayan and Union Ministers of State Gen (Retd) Dr V K Singh and V Muraleedharan, ministers from the state and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said, works have been sanctioned and construction is being initiated in another 7 projects of length 177 km at an investment of Rs 11,571 crore. It includes construction of high level bridge at Cheruthoni River, which was damaged/approaches completely washed off due to natural calamities in August 2018.

He said that the government is committed to ensure expedited completion of these projects to enable economic prosperity of the state. These projects will change the face of Kerala. Gadkari informed that presently, Kerala has NHs of 1782 km length.

“As much as 488 km of NH length has been constructed during 2014-20, which depicts an increase of 569 percent over 2009-14 period,” the Union minister said.

The expenditure, he informed, on construction of NH from 2014-2020 is Rs 3,820 crore, while another Rs 671 crore were spent on maintenance of NH in the State. Allocation under flood repair/ordinary repair is Rs 96.50 crore.

Gadkari said that works costing Rs 19,800 crore are targeted for completion by 2024, while 30 projects of an aggregate length of 549 km for an amount of Rs 5,327 crore are under implementation. He asked the Kerala chief minister to consider PPP model for road development which will bring more capital in building infrastructure.

Gadkari added that Mumbai–Kanyakumari Economic Corridor with a length of 1,760 km is one such corridor being developed as a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana. The corridor improving connectivity to the entire western coast of the country from Mumbai till Kanyakumari will greatly enable the economic prosperity of the region.

As a part of the Mumbai–Kanyakumari Economic Corridor, 23 projects with a length of 650 km are being developed in Kerala at an investment of Rs 50,000 crore. He said the corridor traversing the entire length of Kerala from North to South is expected to be the lifeline of Kerala. The corridor improves connectivity to major cities such as Kasargod, Thalassery, Kannur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram.

Underlining very high land acquisition cost for roads in Kerala, Gadkari called making aggregates and  sand royalty free and for exempting other road materials like iron/steel, cement from state GST that will make very helpful to Kerala for reducing the cost of road construction.

The minister invited Vijayan to Delhi for detailed discussion on these issues. He assured all support of Union Road and Highways Ministry.

Gadkari called upon Kerala chief minister to resolve the issues in road completion.

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