Road projects in J&K taken on priority: Kamal Nath

"We are giving priority to projects in Jammu and Kashmir," Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour. However, he said the nature of terrain in the region was leading to delays in preparing the detailed project reports for various road projects.

The minister said the Centre had recently sanctioned several road projects for the state. To a question on land acquisition for expansion of highways in Kerala, Nath said the ministry was awaiting the award of the settlement officer in the matter.

On delay in the Chennai-Ennore Port Trust road, he said the project was being developed through a Special Purpose Vehicle involving four partners, including the port authority. He said the project costs have increased substantially and the equity share of the Port Trust was awaited.

In reply to another question, Minister of State for Surface Transport R P N Singh sought to assuage members' concerns on increase in toll tax on various highways in Uttar Pradesh.

Singh said at present the user fee is determined in accordance with the provisions under National Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules notified on December 5, 2008.

"These Rules prescribe the base rates of user fee to be levied for use of a section of national highway, bridge, tunnel or bypass, along with exemptions and discounts available to categories specified in these rules," he said.

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