By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, April 8, 2018: The proposed 452 kilometre long Coastal Highway aimed to connect several existing and upcoming ports, including Gopalpur, Astarang, Paradip, Kirtania and Chandipur in the state is likely to be completed in the next two-and-a-half years.

However, the work on the coastal highway under Centre’s flagship Bharatmala Pariyojana is yet to take off due to concerns by the state government on the issue of eco-sensitive zones and others.

Chairing a high-level meeting on the project, chief secretary AP Padhi on Staturday had a meeting with the officials of NHAI.

“We have apprised the NHAI about our concerns in some patches of the proposed highway like the position of the bridge over Chilika and other eco-sensitive zones on the 452-km long highway between Gopalpur in Ganjam district and Digha in West Bengal. Work will be initiated in separate stretches from Konark to Astarang and Astarang to Paradip and so concerns over each of the areas need to be looked at. The NHAI has assured us to look at our concerns,” Padhi told media persons after the meeting.

Anand Kumar Singh, member, NHAI (Project) said the coastal highway is a very ambitious project in Odisha. “We have already decided on the detailed project report (DPR) barring some concerns of the state government,” Singh said adding that the NHAI would be able to complete the proposed coastal highway’s major portions in next two-and-half-a-years if it receives approvals and cooperation in proper time,” said Singh.

The Coastal Highway is expected to bolster economy in coastal pockets and will facilitate alternative economic opportunities to people in these areas. The project will also drastically reduce the distance between Odisha and the neighbouring Bengal.

This apart, the highway is likely to play a vital role in handling rescue and relief operations during natural disasters, informed sources.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of