Paradip, Feb 6: Union Minister of Road Transport Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development Nitin Gadkari today 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.
Addressing a public meeting here Mr Gadkari said the waterway will carry 200 lakh tonne of cargo and be a game changer for the state. He said it will give a boost to coal, iron and steel and other industries in Odisha and create huge employment. The Union Minister said the construction work for the waterways would start within three to four months if the state government provided all required permission.
Underscoring the need for a strong transport eco system, Mr Gadkari said the Union 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.
He said the length of National Highways in Odisha has more than doubled in the last four years, increasing from 4632 km in 2014 to 9426 km in 2018.
The Centre, Mr.Gadkari said is spending nearly Rs 1 lakh crore on building National Highways in the state.
Mr Gadkari was in Odisha today to do Bhoomi Pujan for three NH projects of total length 132 km, worth Rs 2345 crores including four laning of theTalcher-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 foundation for six projects worth Rs 3206 crore at Paradip Port. The NH projects worth more than Rs 6000 crore have been completed in Odisha.
They included 4 laning of Sambalpur- Bargarh, Panikoili-Remuili and Bhubaneswar-Puri NH, 6 laning of Bhubaneswar- Chandikhol NH,construction of 4 lane NH up to Jharsuguda town, construction/ strengthening of bridges on NH 57, NH 59 and some other highways.
Several other projects worth more than Rs 4500 crore are scheduled for completion this year. About 1645 km of NH worth Rs 30,000 crore are envisaged under Bharatmala, including 93 km of Ring Roads around major towns DPRs of these are being prepared.
Mr Gadkari said the Coastal Highway project, the second bridge over River Brahmani in Rourkela, and some other projects are stuck due to issues like land acquisition, forest and environment clearance .
He called upon the state government to extend cooperation in getting the necessary clearances. Mr Gadkari said the Rs 10,000 crore Coastal Highway project would start within six months if the state government cooperates and provides the required clearances.
Talking about port led industrialization in the state, the Union Minister said that 34 projects worth Rs 20,000 crore have been identified for Odisha under Sagarmala project. (UNI)