Centre spending nearly Rs 1 lakh crore in Odisha on road projects: Gadkari

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said the Centre is spending nearly Rs 1 lakh crore on building National Highways (NH) in the state.

He said the length of NHs in Odisha has more than doubled in the last four years increasing from 4,632 km in 2014 to 9,426 km in 2018.

Gadkari along with Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched several projects including polypropylene plant at Paradip Refinery and NHs worth Rs 11,000 crore in Odisha.

He laid the foundation stone for three NH projects of total length 132 km, worth Rs 2345 crores at Kamakshyanagar in Dhenkanal.

The projects 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 laid the foundation for six projects worth Rs 3206 crore at Paradip Port.

Besides the polypropylene plant, a multipurpose clean cargo berth of capacity 50 lakh tonnes per year, built at a cost of Rs 431 crore, to handle clean cargo including containers at Paradip Port was also inaugurated.

Gadkari said NH projects worth more than Rs 6000 crore have been completed in Odisha.

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, the Minister called upon the state government to extend cooperation in getting the necessary clearances.

Gadkari announced that a 262 km long waterway, combining Mahanadi and Brahmani will be developed from Kalinganagar to Dhamra via Paradip at a cost of Rs 5000 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.