Union Minister for Road Transport Oscar Fernandes said that elevated roads parallel to the NH stretches could be used either for light motor vehicles or for heavy vehicles to reduce congestion.

The Union government has proposed elevated roads on national highway stretches in the State to overcome problems of land acquisition for developing them into four-lane stretches as in other parts of the country.

On the sidelines of the two-day South India Transport Council that concluded here on Friday, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes told the media that elevated roads parallel to the NH stretches could be used either for light motor vehicles or for heavy vehicles to reduce congestion.

Mr. Fernandes said such roads would come in handy for Kerala, Goa, and North-Eastern States where land acquisition for widening the NH stretches would be difficult.

Elevated roads had been found successful in reducing traffic congestion in Thailand and China and officials of MORTH had been asked to look into its feasibility, he added.

Pointing out that one cannot hold up traffic on the national highway, the Union Minister said the States would be taken into confidence before the Centre went ahead with the initiative.

On the alignment and width of the NH stretches in the State that had been identified for four-lane expansion by the National Highway Authority of India, Mr. Fernandes said the issue of ‘space’ was yet to be resolved and talks were on.

“The NHAI sets the standards for NH widening and decisions to grant exemption are taken at the Centre.”

CNG for States

The government had plans to provide Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in all State capitals and business centres. Public sector transport undertakings across the country would get priority as CNG was cheap compared to high speed diesel.

Use of CNG in buses in Delhi had brought down the pollution level. But, it had gone up recently and the Ministry was looking into the reasons. On making available CNG in Kerala, Mr. Fernandes said the issue of land for setting up the terminal in Kochi was yet to be resolved.

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