The Andhra Pradesh Road Development Corporation is contemplating to establish a road fund in the State, on the lines of Central Road Fund, for development and maintenance of core road network.
Such a fund was already set up by Assam, Kerala, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The idea is to streamline various revenue resources to the fund and spend it judiciously on the roads instead of completely depending upon the budgetary support from the government.
The road fund would be in line with corporation’s effort towards attaining functional autonomy so as to speed up its projects and maintenance work. “It gives both freedom and fixes accountability on the APRDC,” officials said.
The APRDC sources hasten to add that the road fund is still a concept. But they hope it will take shape in the next few years and pave the way for better maintenance of more than 12,000 km of high density road corridors- State highways, district roads and other roads. At present the budget allocation to APRDC for 2012-13 is Rs.684 crore.
Given the dubious distinction of State in registering high number of road accidents and deaths, the fund will help in implementing measures to reduce road accidents on major corridors by assisting the State agencies concerned in black spot improvement and other action plans, they say.
In other States, road funds are financed by multiple resources: budgetary support from Central and State government, direct road user charges from fuel, motor vehicle taxes, fee and toll, indirect road user charge such as hotel tax and levy on agriculture products besides fines and loans.
Public will appreciate if better quality roads result in spin off benefits including reduction in fuel consumption and emissions, reduction in travel time.
While it was taking up upgradation of seven roads covering 428 km, its major project, 4.1 km-long second four-lane road bridge across River Godavari at Rajahmundry under PPP mode was 80 per cent complete. The Rs.808 crore project will be ready by June, 2013. The road bridge will reduce distance to Eluru, Kakinada and Visakhapatnam by 50 km bypassing Rajahmundry, Kovvur.