Core Road Network planned

Special Correspondent

The cost of the PPP-model project put at Rs. 1,77,000 crore

66,000 km of roads to be developed in three phases

Toll to be collected based on rates fixed by the NHAI

BANGALORE: Karnataka has decided to develop a Core Road Network (CRN) of 66,000 km at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,77,000 crore under the public-private partnership module in the next six years (2009-15).

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Wednesday launched work on upgrading 10,000 km of State highways and major district roads (MDRs) apart from 12,600 km of village roads in the first phase. The estimated cost for development of 10,000 km of State highways and MDRs is Rs. 31,400 crore. About 40,000 km of roads will be developed in the second phase at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.08 lakh crore and 16,000 km in the third phase with an investment of Rs. 36,800 crore.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the 66,000-km CRN would connect Bangalore with other IT hubs such as Mysore, Hassan, Davangere, Hubli, Dharwad, and Mangalore. The objective of the CRN was to promote industrial and urban development and integrate economically backward and remote areas.

All these roads would be toll roads, and toll booths would be established every 50 km. The toll would be based on the rate fixed by the National Highways Authority of India, he said.

The toll rates for 50 km on a two-lane road for 2008-09 would be fixed at Rs. 25 for cars, jeeps, vans and light motor vehicles, Rs. 38 for light commercial vehicles and light goods vehicles, Rs. 75 for buses and lorries, Rs. 113 for heavy construction machinery, earthmoving equipment and multi-axle vehicles and Rs. 150 for oversized vehicles (seven or more axles).

Agricultural non-transport vehicles, two and three-wheelers and local short-distance vehicles used only for passenger transport would be exempted from payment of toll. Service roads would be provided for local traffic, he said.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said at present the State had a road network of nearly 2.09 lakh km: 3,978 km of national highways, 20,738 km of State highways, 37,973 km of district roads and 1,47,212 km of village roads.

The CRN would be an all-weather, smooth road network with a minimum two-lane carriageway and feeder roads and four to six lanes near urban settlements.

The roads would be developed under various PPP models such as build operate, transfer; design, build, operate, transfer; and viability gap funding. The developer would be given one acre of land for every five km of road developed for business activities. Land acquisition and development would be undertaken by private entrepreneurs.

A State-level task force headed by the Chief Minister had been constituted to monitor the progress of roads, and committees headed by the deputy commissioners had been constituted for fixation of compensation rates for land acquired for roads.

About 200 private investors attended the programme.

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