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`Pvt sector to be encouraged to build Kerala infrastructure'

Our Bureau

Kochi July 29

"THE private sector will be encouraged to play a greater part in infrastructure development, especially in the area of roads and highways. The State Government would soon introduce an exclusive road development policy to facilitate public-private partnerships (PPPs)," said Dr M.K. Muneer, Minister for Public Works, Government of Kerala.

Delivering the keynote address at the `Invest Kerala Session' at Suminfra 2005, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Hyderabad today, Dr Muneer said that though the State has the highest road density, four-fold over the national average, there is a greater need to concentrate on improving the physical infrastructure of highways, district and rural roads. On bringing enabling policy environment and Government support, the Minister said the Government had established a State Level Empowered Committee to oversee implementation of projects.

The Government had conducted various studies on the issues facing road infrastructure development and had come up with several legislations including Kerala Toll Act, Kerala Road Fund Act, and the Kerala Highways Protection Act to safeguard the interests of investors.

The Minister said the Mattancheri Bridge Project, which was built on build, operate and transfer basis, was a success.

In order to ensure speedy and smooth completion of large-scale road development projects, the Government has evolved a fast-track system for acquiring land with enabling legal frameworks such as Resettlement & Rehabilitation Act and the Resettlement Action Plan, a press release from CII has said.

Dr Muneer said that through the Road Fund Board and Roads and Bridge Development Corporation of Kerala, which was created exclusively to promote private investment in the road sector, the Government would encourages PPPs in infrastructure development through equity participation, subsidy of over 25 per cent and facilitate financial assistance.

The Minister highlighted the details about Kerala's ambitious Capital City Region Development Project (CCRDP), Kerala State Express Highway Project (KSEHP), Vallarpadam and Vizhinjam Transhipment terminals.

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