Odisha Govt puts NHAI projects on fast track

Bhubaneswar: The National Highway projects in Odisha have been put to fast track with chief secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik taking a review of their progress at the State Secretariat here today.

The chief secretary took the review of issues relating to land acquisition, shifting of utilities, erection of electric poles along the side of National and State Highways, eviction of unauthorized constructions, encroachments & religious structures, unauthorized constriction of speed breakers, cutting of median dividers on the highways, shifting of RMCs/Forest Check gates, shifting of liquor shops, expediting of environmental clearances etc.

It has been decided that these matters will be expedited under the direct supervision of respective secretaries and commissioners.

It has also been decided that the proposal for erection of electric poles along the road side for state roads will be cleared up within two weeks; and for NH roads, the proposals will be cleared up within 1 month failing which it will be presumed that the approval has been accorded and accordingly the works will be carried forward.

Energy secretary PK Jena has been advised to ask all the distribution companies (discoms) to submit their utility shifting estimates within a specified time, the chief secretary has directed to follow the legal stipulations regarding shifting of forest check gates and liquor shops.

It has been decided that three to four engineers from the works department will be deputed to NHAI to expedite the project works.

The NH projects under progress in Odisha include, Bhubaneswar- Puri (67.25 km), Bhubaneswar-Chandikhole (67 kms), Sambalpur-Bargarh (88 km), Rimuli-Rajamunda (96.45 km), Panikoili-Rimuli (166.17 km), Cuttack-Angul (112 km), Angul-Sambalpur (150.86 km) and Biramitrapur-Barkote (125.60 km).

Besides these projects, works in the Sambalpur-Bahadagoda (368.20 km), Bhuban-Duburi-Chandikhole (62 km), Balasore-Jhadapokharia (80.60 km) are under different stages like bidding and preparation of DPR.

Along with this, feasibility study for six laning NH-5 roads for Chandikhole-Balasore, Bhubaneswar-Ichhapuram and Chandikhole-Paradip has been undertaken in full swing.

In order to expedite the expansion work for timely completion of these projects, it was decided that unauthorized encroachments, structures including road side religious structures will be evicted soon.

The chief secretary directed to expedite the necessary rehabilitation works simultaneously with construction of NH.

The meeting also set the target to complete Bhubaneswar-Puri road by September, 2013, Bhubaneswar-Chandikhol road by June, 2014, Sambalpur- Bargarh road by May, 2014 and Rimuli-Rajamunda road by Jan, 2014.

Among others, principal secretary home UN Behera, principal secretary rural development SN Tripathy, principal secretary , revenue & disaster management Tara Datt, principal secretary forest and environment, RK Sharma, energy secretary PK Jena, NHAI authorities along with other senior officers were present at the meeting.