BANGALORE, May 22, 2009: Karnataka Government on Friday decided to develop more than 250 state highways and major district roads with private participation and levy toll on road users.
The State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa fixed toll rates for the four-lane and two-lane roads for various category of motor vehicles.
Minister for Rural Development & Panchayat Raj Shobha Karandlaje told reporters here that the basic toll rate per kilometre on a four-lane road for cars, jeeps, light motor vehicles, vans would be 65 paise and on two-lane roads it would be fifty paise.
Mini-buses and mini goods vehicles will have to pay Rs 1.05 per km for using four-lane road and 75 paise for two-lane. The toll would be Rs 2.20 for buses and trucks on four-lane road and Re 1.50 on two-lane road, she said adding that heavy construction machinery vehicles would be charged Rs 3.45 per km on four-lane road and Rs 2.25 on two-lane roads. Toll will be collected on roads where more than 10,000 vehicles ply, she said.
However, toll will not be collected on existing roads, Karandlaje said.
At an investor’s meet held in January 28, 2009, the Government had 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).
In the first phase, it was decided to upgrade 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.
Officials 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.
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.
Farmers to get credit at 3 pc from nationalised banks
BANGALORE: The Karnataka government on Friday decided to ensure credit to small and marginal farmers at three per cent interest rate through nationalised banks, but with a loan cap of Rs 50,000.
The state Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa approved the extension of the subsidised interest rate scheme for farm credit to nationalised banks with effect from April 1 last and decided to earmark Rs 250 crore towards reimbursement of the difference interest amount to banks. The Government has decided to disburse crop loans at three per cent rate of interest in the State budget for 2009-10.
Addressing presspersons after the Cabinet meeting, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Shobha Karandlaje said that it has been estimated that about six to seven lakh farmers avail credit from nationalised banks in the state.
About 13 lakh farmers in the state who get credit from cooperative institutions already enjoy the low interest rate credit, she said.
Farmers’ loans up to Rs 50,000 would be eligible for the low interest rate. Continuing its populist schemes, the government decided to extend the scheme of awarding cash incentives to meritorious higher secondary boy students hailing from SC and ST communities, a benefit already given to their girl counterparts to enable them continue higher studies.
The Centre had instructed nationalised banks to grant crop loans at the interest rate of seven per cent. The State Government would reimburse to banks the difference of the amount which would be Rs. 1000 crore in 2009-10.The cooperative institutions would disburse crop loans at rate of interest of three per cent to small and marginal farmers. The cooperatives had disbursed Rs. 3,290.3 crore in 2008-09 for 13,17,983 farmers in the State. Cooperatives are expected to disburse Rs. 3,500 crore loans to farmers in 2009-10.
Cooperation Minister Laxman Savadi said elections to various cooperative bodies, including Karnataka Milk Federation, would be held between May 23 to July 27 in different phases.