Kerala is most likely to be included in the proposed Centrally-sponsored National Expressway Network, said Mr. P.J. Joseph, Minister for Public Works.

The Minister was addressing a press conference, after inspecting the repair works in progress on various roads leading to Sabarimala, at the Government Guest House here on Friday.

Mr. Joseph said Union Minister for Surface Transport, Kamalnath, has agreed in principle the State government’s proposal for constructing an all new express way linking Kanyakumari with Mangalore as a north-south corridor as part of the proposed 10,000 km National Expressway Network.

He said the PWD has conducted a survey on the proposed north-south corridor and its alignment study, earlier.

Heavy maintenance scheme

The Minister said the main trunk routes to Sabarimala would be brought under a heavy maintenance scheme.

The Mannarakulanji-Chalakkayam Road, Kanamala-Evlavumkal Road, Kanjirappally Erumely Road and the Kanamala Bridge would come under the proposed heavy maintenance scheme, he said.

Mr. Joseph said the scheme estimated at Rs. 28 crore would be launched as soon as the Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival comes to a close in January, 2010.

He said the government has decided to conduct a survey on the proposed high-speed railway line linking Thiruvananthapuram with Kasaragod. A high-level meeting chaired by Finance Minister, T.M. Thomas Issac, has decided to conduct a feasibility study, he added.

Repair work on Sabarimala roads

The Minister, accompanied by PWD officials, has reviewed the progress of repair work on various roads leading to Sabarimala, earlier, in the forenoon.

According to him, the road repair work was in its final phase in the three districts of Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Kottayam and will be completed in the next two days itself.

He said the 90 per cent of the resurfacing work on the Manarakulanji-Plappally Road, Plappally-Chalakkayam Road, Vadasserikkara-Chittar-Plapally diversion road, Chethonkara-Athikkayam

Road, Perinad-Poovathumoodu Road, Mandiram-Vadasserikkara Road, Mukkada-Edamon-Athikkayam Road and Plappally-Thulappally-Kanamala Road have been completed. The strike by tipper lorry owners coupled by the incessant rains have slightly delayed the road work in many parts of the district.

The Minister said the PWD had undertaken 76 road repair works estimated at Rs. 589.21 lakh in Pathanamthitta roads division alone and 60 of them have already been completed.

However, the PWD will be able to complete the work on the remaining 17 roads in the next two days itself.

He said the M.C. Road development project of Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) along the Venjaramoodu-Chengannur stretch was fast progressing so as to complete the work by December 31.

He said the work on the Thiruvala-Kumbazha Road and Kozhencherry-Cherukolpuzha-Ranni Road has been completed.

Sign boards

Mr. Joseph said installation of 375 sign boards on the wayside of all major roads leading to Sabarimala was under way.

Mr. T. Baburaj, Chief Engineer and Prof D.K. John, Kerala Congresss(Joseph) State general secretary, also attended the press meet.

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