Mumbai-Kanyakumari Economic Corridor will be a lifeline for Kerala: Gadkari

Our Bureau. Kochi | Updated on October 13, 2020 Published on October 13, 2020

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways   -  PTI

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, has said that 23 projects, involving a length of 650 km, are being developed in Kerala at an investment of ₹50,000 crore as part of the Mumbai–Kanyakumari Economic Corridor.

The corridor that coversnorth to south is expected to be the lifeline of the State. The corridor improves connectivity to major cities / towns such as Kasargod, Thalassery, Kannur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram, the Minister said while inaugurating and laying the foundation stone for eight National Highway projects in Kerala on Tuesday.

The Minister said that 35,000 km of national highways are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana in the country. Of this, 1,234 km of national highways are being developed as part of the project in Kerala. Mumbai-Kanyakumari Economic Corridor, at a length of 1,760 km, is one such corridor being developed as a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana.

New India

In line with the Prime Minister’s vision for a New India, the Minister siad that the development of world-class transport infrastructure has been prioritised through initiatives such as Bharatmala Pariyojana, the country’s largest-ever infrastructure development programme.

Bharatmala Pariyojna was conceptualised through a scientific study of freight traffic movement between key origin-destination pairs to enable efficient freight and passenger movement, he added.

In addition, he said that 119 km of Port Connectivity Roads are being planned for upgrade under the Bharatmala/ Sagarmala scheme.

According to the Minister, construction has been initiated for another seven projects involving a length 177 km at an investment of ₹11,571 crore. It includes the construction of a high-level bridge at Cheruthoni River, which was damaged due to natural calamities during the southwest monsoon season in August 2018.

Kerala has NHs of 1,782 km length. NHs of 488 km length was constructed between 2014 and 2020, which depicts an increase of 569 per cent over the 2009-2014 period. The expenditure for the construction of NHs between 2014 and 2020 is ₹3,820 crore, while another ₹671 crore were spent on the maintenance of NHs in the State. The allocation under flood repair/ordinary repair is ₹96.50 crore, he said.

Projects worth ₹19,800 crore has been targeted for completion by 2024, while 30 projects of an aggregate length of 549 km worth ₹5,327 crore are under implementation.

Underlining the high land acquisition cost for roads in Kerala, Gadkari called for making aggregates and sand royalty free and for exempting other road materials such as iron/steel, cement from State GST that will be helpful to reduce the cost of road construction.

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Published on October 13, 2020
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