Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju told the Assembly on Tuesday that the State would be getting two new national highways (NHs).

Replying to the debate on the demand for grants for Public Works, the Minister said the first would connect Adoor and Vandiperiyar. The second would be from Adimali to Kumili via Cheruthoni and Kattappana.

The Minister said the government proposed to raise the minimum cost specified in the toll Act for collection of toll to Rs.10 crore. Now, bridges and roads costing more than Rs.5 crore attracted toll under the Act.

Mr. Kunju said the department proposed to build 4,800 km of road and 40 bridges in the next two years. Quality improvement of 2,800 km of roads under various schemes was under implementation. Quality control laboratories had been set up in all districts and quality certification had been made mandatory for payment of bills.

He said the government proposed to strengthen the Vigilance wing of the Public Works Department.

Finance Minister K. M. Mani announced in the Assembly that the government had begun payment of bill arrears to contractors.

The House later passed the demand for grants of Rs.2418.61 crore for Public Works.

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