The Karnataka State Government in India has approved two road development projects across 189 rural assembly constituencies with a total investment of Rs36.59bn ($669m).

The two projects will cover the development of 5,728km of roads in rural parts of Karnataka.

These new schemes include a Rs24.16bn ($441.74m) road development project, under which each constituency will develop 30km of roads at a cost of Rs4.2m ($76,791), which includes a maintenance period of five years.

In addition to the main projects, 20km of roads will be developed in each of the 189 rural Assembly constituencies with an expenditure of Rs12.45bn ($227.6m), under the state Chief Minister’s ‘Our Village-Our Road’ programme.

Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri said that the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar proposed the exemption of these roads from the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), which outlines certain conditions such as minimum population requirement for executing the work.

The decision is expected to help build 50km of roads, in all 189 rural assembly constituencies, Kageri said.

"The two projects will cover the development of 5,728km of roads in rural parts of Karnataka."

Both projects were proposed in the State budget for the fiscal 2012-13.

Meanwhile, the cabinet has also decided to approve Rs500m ($9.14m) of special grants to the North?Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) for the purchase of new buses.

The new buses will travel on rural routes, enhancing connectivity in the Mumbai-Karnataka region.

In 2011, Karnataka has received approval for a $315m loan from The Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the state highway improvement project.

The project included the rehabilitation and upgrade of nearly 615km of the major highways across the state.