Bhubaneswar: The length of National Highways in Odisha has more than doubled in the last four years, increasing from 4,632 km in 2014 to 9,426 km in 2018. Addressing a public meeting in Jagatsinghpur today, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, said that the Centre is spending nearly Rs 1 lakh Crore on building National Highways in the state. Underscoring the need for a strong transport ecosystem, the Minister said that his government is working to strengthen all modes of transport – National Highways, waterways and seaways – so that Odisha is able to realize its full potential as a mineral rich state.
Shri Gadkari was in Odisha today to do Bhoomi Pujan for three NH projects of total length 132 km, worth Rs 2,345 Crores. These include four laning of the Talcher-Kamakhyanagar section of NH 200/23, Kamakhyanagar-Duburi section of NH 200 and Duburi-Chandikhole section of NH 200. He also inaugurated port projects worth Rs 431 Crore and lay foundation for six projects worth Rs 3,206 Crore at Paradip Port. Shri Gadkari was accompanied by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari said NH projects worth more than Rs 6,000 Crore have been completed in Odisha. Some of these include 4 laning of Sambalpur- Bargad, Panikoili-Remuili and Bhubaneswar-Puri NH, 6 laning of Bhubaneswar- Chandikhol NH, construction of 4 lane NH upto Jharsuguda town, construction/ strengthening of bridges on NH 57, NH 59 and some other highways. Several other projects worth more than Rs 4,500 Crore are scheduled for completion this year. About 1,645 km of NH worth Rs 30,000 Crore are envisaged under Bharatmala, including 93 km of Ring Roads around major towns, and DPRs for these are being prepared. Talking about projects like the Coastal Highway, the second bridge over River Brahmani in Rourkela , and some other projects which are stuck due to issues like land acquisition, forest and environment clearance etc. he called upon the state government to extend cooperation in getting the necessary clearances.
Shri Gadkari announced that a 262 km long waterway, combining Mahanadi and Brahmani will be developed from Karimnagar to Dhamra and Paradip at a cost of Rs 5,000 Crore. This waterway will carry 200 lakh tonne of cargo and be a game changer for the state. It will give a boost to coal, iron and steel and other industries in Odisha and create huge employment opportunities for the local population.
Talking about port led industrialization in the state the Minister said that 34 projects worth Rs 20,000 Crore have been identified for Odisha under Sagarmala. The capacity and efficiency of Paradip Port is rising continuously, and this will bring a lot of prosperity to the state.