Reliance to help Kerala revamp transport infrastructure

Friday, 27 December 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The multibillion Reliance industries group has expressed interest in helping Kerala upgrade its transport infrastructure by pumping in about 1 billion, Transport Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar said Friday.

He said Reliance was likely to be roped in for the revamp of bus stations in three major cities.

"The Thiruvananthapuram bus station is expected to get a major facelift as a project report for 380 million is ready. So is a similar project for the Kozhikode bus station at 350 million and the proposal for a revamp of the Kochi bus station is also under way," Kumar told reporters here.

He said Reliance would most likely build these on a build-operate-transfer basis and include massive car parks and commercial space to be let out on hire.

He added that these projects would also be showcased at the Global Investors' Meet (GIM) in Kochi next month.

The minister said Reliance had also shown interest in setting up new petrol stations wherever the transport department was willing to provide land.

But he said all these projects would be cleared only after the cabinet gives its approval.

The ailing transport department has seen its health improve gradually under the stewardship of the actor-turned-politician, who has managed to bring the monthly losses of the state-owned department from 100 million to 60 million.

Kumar is also pushing another major project that aims to end commuting problems in Kochi with the launch of a sky bus, similar to a service in Germany. The sky bus project will also be presented at the GIM to attract investment.

"We are confident we would get some assistance from the centre for this mega project, which is one of the prestigious projects to be showcased at GIM," said Kumar.

"Apart from these schemes which are expected to revive the transport department, we are soon going to get an assistance of 1 billion from HUDCO (Housing and Urban Development Corporation) to buy new buses," said the minister.
Source: IANS
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