Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has finally agreed to a Central proposal for alignment of the coastal highway in the state.
Additional Secretary RK Acharya informed this in a letter to the chief general manager of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). The letter also requested NHAI to immediately act on the matter, inform the project directors concerned and engage consultants accordingly.
As per the proposal, a 451-km-long coastal highway will be built and named as 516-A. In the first phase, a 240-km stretch from Gopalpur to Ratanpur will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2196 crore.
It may be mentioned that a high-level meeting chaired by the chief secretary, Asit Tripathy, was held at Lok Seva Bhawan on November 15.
At the meeting, NHAI had made a detailed presentation on the highway alignment plan after the commissioner-cum-secretary (Works), expressed the Odisha government’s keenness for this project.
NHAI had informed that the highway alignment from Gopalpur in Ganjam district to Ratanpur and Basudevpur to Digha in West Bengal was presented to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), which had raised certain observations on alignment passing through Chilika Lake and other eco-sensitive areas. Keeping these observations in mind, the alignment has been reworked.
It was decided that the proposed alignment from Satpada to Digha via Puri-Konark-Astarang-Ratanpur-Dhamra-Basudevpur-Chandipur is agreeable by the state government and the NHAI may proceed forward for obtaining due clearances.
It was decided to review the alignment from Gopalpur to Satpada via Chilika Lake in another meeting and take a decision.
The chief secretary assured the NHAI of providing all help from the state government.