The State government is planning to develop urban roads in the Chennai Metropolitan Area under Public Private Partnership (PPP) based on the model adopted in Kerala.

Following the first meeting on PPP for urban roads held by the State government on Wednesday, the Chennai Corporation has decided to study the feasibility of using the model to design, construct and maintain urban roads in newly added areas.

“A number of neighbourhoods in added areas need new roads. Such areas may benefit from the adoption of the model,” said an official of Chennai Corporation.

The civic body has decided to complete 18,000 roads by May 2014. New roads to tackle traffic congestion may also be developed based on the model. The Union Ministry of Urban Development this month asked the State government to explore the possibility of construction, operation and maintenance of urban roads through a PPP model. The Ministry cited the model adopted in Thiruvananthapuram where a private entity was identified for urban road improvement.

“The roads developed under the model will be toll-free. This is done through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with responsibility of design, operation and maintenance of roads for 15 years in an integrated manner. The traditional system of repairing the road has impaired the landscape and storm water drains,” said an official of Chennai Corporation.

The local bodies in the State, including the Chennai Corporation, have been trying to get funds from development banks from other countries to cope with insufficient budgetary allocations from the Union Government. The Union government is also promoting the PPP model to cope with issues pertaining to funding. The model adopted in Kerala identified a consortium to develop, operate and maintain urban roads.

Land acquisition and financial risks were, however, tackled by the State government and the concessionaire was responsible for investment. The recovery for the concessionaire is made by annuity payments from the central road fund.