• Kerala will get coastal, hill highways: Minister

    The State Government is for building coastal and hill highways connecting the northern and southern tips of the state as part of improving road infrastructure. The government intends to complete the project worth about Rs 10,000 crore during its tenure, PWD Minister G Sudhakaran said.

    The decision for building these two highways was taken up at a meeting in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister Thomas Issac, he said. The officials in the PWD have been asked to submit a detailed project report in this regard, he said and added that they were asked to submit the report within four months.

    Sudhakaran also said that the highways would be constructed using the most modern techniques. The coastal highway will have a length of 606 km and the hill highway 1195 km.

    The Minister also said that an investigation would be held on how the former UDF government had given sanction for the projects under the District Flagship Infrastructure Project (DFIP) without having enough funds. The probe was only for knowing the reality and not to take action against anyone, he added.

    Refuting the allegations that the government had abandoned the projects brought by the UDF government, he said that the projects have only be stopped for a short period as funds were not available. Discussions are on with the Chief Minister and the finance minister to raise the funds, he added.

    He also lashed out at the previous UDF government for its projects under DFIP. As per the budget proposal, 14 projects for 14 districts were announced and an amount of Rs 1,400 crore was announced for this. Later, the number of projects was increased to 21 and sanction was given to the tune of Rs 3,771.47 crore but without any fund allocation, Sudhakaran alleged.

    He further said that ten of the 21 projects were given priority and administrative sanction of Rs 1,620.30 crore was given. However, he alleged that the projects were taken up without any criteria. The UDF government had proposed the projects without any fund allocation and without any clear cut vision of raising the funds, he alleged. Brian Elliott Authentic Jersey

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