Staff Reporter

Upgradation of National Highways 17 and 47 on the anvil

National Transportation Planning and Research Centre to prepare report on Hill Highway

PWD code and manual being revised

KOTTAYAM: The State government would finalise the list of roads to be selected under the second phase of Kerala State Transport Project next week, Minister for Public Works Mons Joseph has said.

Mr. Joseph said roads for which land acquisition has been completed and those for which it is going on will be listed for consideration under the KSTP.

He reiterated the earnestness of the government in implementing KSTP and said works on the Thiruvnanthapuram-Chengannur stretch of the MC Road was progressing satisfactorily.

The second phase of works will include the stretch from Chengannur to Muvattupuzha.

Upgrading the National Highways 17 and 47 are also on the anvil.

Mr. Joseph said the detailed project reports are being prepared for this purpose. “The government has also asked the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre to prepare report for the proposed Hill Highway,” he said.

Meanwhile, steps have been initiated for the revision of daily wages of workers engaged in the PWD projects. “Discussions with the Finance Department would have to be completed before revising the wages,” he said.

The PWD code and manual is also being revised. “New law was necessary for amending the PWD manual, and a two member committee has been entrusted with the preparation of a report for this purpose,” he said.

The PWD could use 95 per cent of the funds allotted, Mr. Joseph said. During last financial year, Rs.764.46 crore has been spent out of the total outlay of Rs.788.9 crore.

He said government experiment to improve the quality of PWD rest houses through private participation has not been a success.

Talks are on with the parties to bring back the rest houses under the control of the department, he said.

The Minister said the government was keen to keep all the Sabarimala roads in good condition and has decided to go in for a heavy maintenance work.

Mr. Joseph said he is personally supportive of a high speed corridor for the State in view of the major infrastructure developments in Kochi, and would bring the attention of the LDF for discussion.