Union Minister Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari has agreed to approve the Coastal Highway in Odisha connecting Gopalpur to Digha. This will be one of the longest Coastal Road of 460 Kilometers, connecting two neighboring states-Odisha and West Bengal.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while meeting the Union Minister Mr.Gadkari today, proposed for the Coastal Highway, Union Minister said this project will be taken up under Bharat Mala Program.
Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik said the Coastal Highway will be connecting several existing and upcoming Ports including Gopalpur, Astarang, Paradeep, Kirtania, Chandipur, forming the economic lifeline will have better Rate Of Return.
Chief Minister said that the state is prone to frequent Super/ Very Severe Cyclonic Storms and it is necessary to have a good Coastal Highway for efficient rescue and relief operations in the cyclone-prone coastal areas. He stated that these areas are also thickly populated and a Coastal Highway will provide alternative economic opportunities to the local population.
Mr.Patnaik said that the existing Road Network in the tribal nominated districts of Odisha which suffer on account of Left Wing Extremism including Gajapati, Rajagada, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bolangir and Bargarh requires urgent upgradation to National Highway standard.
He urged the Union Minister to declare Kuakhia-Jajpur-Aradi-Bhadrak and Cuttack-Kandarpur-Jagatsinghpur-Machhanga State Roads as new National Highways. Chief Minister also requested that Palasa-Paralakhemundi-Muniguda-Bhawanipatna-Rajkhariar-Padmapur
State Road Network may also be upgraded to National Highway. Chief Minister informed that the existing two lane carriage way inside the town limits of many towns are not adequate to cater to the present volume of traffic and these stretches face severe traffic congestion during the day time and are prone to accidents causing frequent road block agitations.
He stated that three new By-Passes including one near Bhawanipatna on NH-26, near Kotpad on NH-63 and near Manamunda on NH-57 are essentially required to address the problem.
Chief Minister brought to the notice of the Union Minister that the work on Gurupriya Bridge has already started under Engineering, Procurement and Construction Mode.
He stated that Government of India has, however, sanctioned only Rs.45 crore for the project under RRP-I of LWE Scheme against the project cost of Rs.187.25 crore.
The Chief Minister highlighted that the bridge is critical for connecting cut-off areas of Malkangiri district to the mainland, improving communication between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha and more importantly for preventing spread of Left Wing Extremism.
He impressed upon the Union Minister to approve and sanction the balance amount of Rs.142.25 crore under RRP-II for ensuring timely completion of the bridge.
Chief Minister mentioned that the improvement work on a number of important National Highways in the State has not started because PPP mode tenders have not been successful.
He urged the Union Minister to take up the improvement work of these National Highways, viz. Cuttack-Angul (NH-55), Angul-Sambalpur (NH-55), Sambalpur-Deogarh (NH-53), Deogarh-Keonjhar-Jamsola (NH-49), Balasore-Baripada-Jharpokharia (NH-18) and Birmitrapur-Rourkela-Barkote (NH-143) under Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Mode.
Highlighting the need to keep the National Highways in traffic-worthy condition, the Chief Minister urged upon the Union Minister to provide adequate funds of at least Rs.25 crore during the current year under Ordinary Repair. He stated that during the last year, the allocation of Rs.14.39 crore fell far short of the minimum requirement of Rs.30 crore.
Union Minister assured the Chief Minister that all the proposals will receive priority attention of the Union Government and that all efforts will be made to connect the remaining two districts of Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur with the National Highway Network and to construct new By-Passes wherever required and feasible.
He also assured that the proposal for construction of a Coastal Highway in Odisha will be taken up under Bharat Mala Scheme. He further assured that all By-Passes where regular tenders have failed will be approved for execution under EPC Mode