Kochi, Nov 23 (UNI) With the Kerala overnment agreeing to sign the 'state support agreement' with the Centre for the development of national Highways, the four-laning of NH-47 will be taken up on a priority, Public Works Department Minister Mons Joseph said today.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr Joseph said the LDF Government had reversed its earlier decision not to sign the agreement, which would involve levying of toll from users, in the interest of the state's development.
He said the Centre was not willing to develop the national highways in the state in the absence of this agreement and the state was losing funds as almost all other states had signed the agreement.
However, the government would try for a lower rate of toll on the build-operate-transfer (BOT) stretches of the National Highways, he said.
While the four-laning of the 410 km stretch of NH-47 in Kerala, between Parassala and Wayalar, would be taken up on a priority basis, a project report would be formulated soon for the development of NH-17 also, he said.
On the stand off with Malaysian company Pati-Bel, which left the development of the Main Centre Road (M C Road), a major state highway in between alleging lack of timely payments and demands for bribes, Mr Joseph said discussions would be held with the Malaysian government and the representatives of the company to resolve the matter and resume the work.