Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the government is willing to reverse its decision to entrust village roads with the Public Works Department (PWD) if requested by the MLAs.

Replying to questions in the Assembly on Thursday, Mr. Chandy said the Cabinet decision for taking over the rural roads was made on the request of elected representatives. But the formalities had not been completed. If demanded, the roads would be returned to the local bodies.

There was no fund crunch for developing the National Highway stretches in the State. A package would be worked out to ensure due benefits without delay to those who surrendered land for development purposes.

Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju said the PWD would strengthen e-tendering. The second phase of Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) would begin soon. Talks were progressing in this regard.

The government would hold a workshop here from November 15 to 17 to discuss new road laying techniques and concepts. An expert committee would be formed for monitoring the roads works. A meeting of MLAs and stakeholders would be convened soon to finalise the alignment for developing the Karamana-Kaliyikkavila stretch in the capital city.

The government had decided to implement a State Road Improvement Project for Rs.5,100 crore for developing 1,000 km roads in international standards. A consultancy, Will Smith Associates, had been entrusted for identifying major State and district roads to be included in the project. The government would spend Rs.1,000 crore for land acquisition. Negotiated settlement and a fast-track system had been proposed for land acquisition.

It had been proposed to float infrastructure development bonds, seek ADB aid, and also to go in for the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. No toll would be levied from the developed roads. A special purpose vehicle would be formed for expediting the project. A primary report had been submitted with the Central Department of Economic Affairs, the Minister said.

Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said there were no proposals for amending the Kerala Land Reforms Act.