Kochi: The Centre would resume immediately construction of National Highway projects in Kerala, halted over the land acquisition issues, with the state agreeing to the 45 metre width, Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Thursday.
"We are very much committed to the progress and development of the country. We do not mix politics and development," Gadkari told reporters here after after a review meeting with state PWD Minister V K Ebrahim Kunj and officials.
Kerala governemnt has accepted the 45m width for the NHs and he had received a letter in this regard from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, he said.
Earlier, the Kerala Government's proposal to develop national highway at a width of 30 meters had been rejected after which the state decided to acquire land to develop the highways at a width of 45 meters.
Due to the land acquisition issues, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had terminated three big projects in the state.
"If 80 per cent of the land acquisition was completed, we will take up the three projects immediately," he said adding the government was 'in favour of giving reasonable compensation for land'.
Stressing the need for making the land acquisition process faster, he said then the execution of the projects can be taken up at a faster pace.
On the Alapuzha and Kollam bypass, he said the cost of both was approxiately Rs 700 crore each of which the central and state governemnts would each share 50 per cent cost.
With regard to the Mahe-Kozhikode bypass, he said if the state government gave a proposal, he would discuss with his ministry and try to find a way out.
PPP model in road sector was very essential, he said adding the government's highest priority was to reduce road accidents for which the increasing the width of the roads was essential.
Kunju said the state was trying to develop road infrastructure on par with the neighboruing states.
"There is slow progress due to land acquisition problems," he said and sought more allocations of funds from the centre. Within one-and-half years, the NH works can be completed, he said.