State government has also stepped up funding, says Highways Secretary

The State is likely to get World Bank funding of Rs.8,583 crore for upgrading roads covering 1,678 km in identified areas, Highways and Minor Ports Secretary, Rajeev Ranjan, said here on Monday.

Delivering the inaugural address at the 11 edition of ‘Suminfra 2013’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said the State government had also stepped up funding for improving roads as part of a general initiative on infrastructure development to sustain economic growth. During the current year, Rs.2,980 crore has been earmarked under the Comprehensive Road Infrastructure Development programme, against Rs.2,200 crore in the corresponding period last year. According to him, the objective of the programme is to upgrade over 2,000 km of six-lane roads to eight lanes and 5,000 km of four-lane roads to six. The Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Development Board, at its first meeting, has allocated Rs.65 crore for detailed project reports and feasibility studies for road projects, he said.

Planning & Development Secretary S. Krishnan said despite the overall slowdown in lending for large projects, the State government has a clear plan to focus on infrastructure projects. It was estimated that over Rs.15 lakh crore funding would be needed for investment in infrastructure over the next 10 years and the State was prepared to go ahead with public funding initially. The government has set up 14 expert panels in various areas relating to infrastructure such as transactions, technology and commercial advisors to guide the implementation of infrastructure project across sectors. Government agencies can engage these panels to guide them, he said.

Paritosh Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, IL&FS, said the number of infrastructure projects and type of investments India had been targeting were not unrealistic or beyond the reach of the country’s capabilities.

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