Chandy hints at stepping up work on highway projects

Thiruvananthapuram, July 15 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Monday said work on delayed National Highway projects in the state would be stepped up before the Onam season in September.

Chandy said this here after a meeting of officials in the presence of union Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes.

"Of the four national highways works that have been delayed, the Thiruvananthapuram stretch would be taken up by the National Highways Authority of India, while work in Kollam, Alappuzha and Kozhikode would be split between the state and the NHAI with both chipping in with 50 percent cost each," said Chandy.

Fernandes agreed that work in Kerala had been delayed for many years.

"The project cost for road development is reasonable but when it comes to land acquisition, it costs a fortune and hence the delay is happening here. But now with the state government agreeing to put 50 percent, things will start moving," said Fernandes.

The Kollam by-pass stretch consists of less than seven km, while for the one at Alappuzha the distance is around 13 km.

"Things are all cleared for the work in Kollam and Alappuzha, while at Kozhikode things would take a little more time to fall in line," said NHAI Chairman R.P. Singh.


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