The government plans to seek World Bank funding for development of 8570 km of major district roads to international standards, Minister for Public Works V. K. Ebrahim Kunju told the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to the debate on the demand for grants for Public Works, the Minister said that a study would be conducted for submission of the proposal to the Bank in six months. The Bank had agreed to consider the proposal. Project had already been submitted to the Bank for funding heavy maintenance of 1000 km of roads at a cost of nearly 3000 crore.

Mr. Erbrahim Kunju informed the House that work on the Kozhikode mono-rail project would be taken up this year itself and former Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation E. Sreedharan would be its advisor. Steps were being taken to set up a special purpose vehicle for implementation of the project.

He said that the proposed Alappuzha bypass would be developed as elevated highway with the State government sharing half of the expenditure with the Railways. A pilot project would be implemented near Enath for development of ox bone land left behind after straightening of the highway there. Restrictions would be brought on erection and content of hoardings along road sides.

He also announced that the Mala town improvement project, which was in limbo, would be revived. Awards would be instituted for best engineers in the Public Works Department.

After the Minister’s reply, the House passed the demand for grants, amounting to 2972.82 crore, for 73 votes against 55.

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