Kerala now to collect toll for railway bridges

March 27th, 2008 - 9:11 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, March 27 (IANS) The Kerala government has taken yet another U-turn. It now favours levying a toll for using railway over-bridges (ROBs). “There is no other way out and if we do not levy toll, then many projects will not take off,” Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told reporters here Thursday.

“We have changed our stance and recently signed the state support agreement with the central government for collecting toll on all National Highway projects,” he said.

With this, work on 10 ROBs is expected to resume while construction of eight more may begin soon. The government is also expected to clear before July proposals for another 17 ROBs.

“The state-owned Roads and Bridges Corporation would now take up the work and we will coordinate with the railway ministry. If necessary, the state government will provide viability gap funding to the corporation,” Isaac said.

“For ROBs and bridges, a MoU (memorandum of understanding) would be inked with local legislators and village council members that they have no objection to toll collection when the project is completed. If there is any opposition and they refrain from signing, then the project will not be taken up,” he said.

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