Remaining non-starter for six years over environment issues, the 382 KM long and Rs 8,000 crore worth coastal highway project is finally poised for takeoff with the State government agreeing to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI)’s realignment of the proposed highway at strategic spots.
The works department of the State government has apprised the NHAI of its consent for the project, proposed under the Centre’s Bharatmala Pariyojana, the official said. According to official sources, the first tender for laying a portion of the road is likely to be invited by March next.
“The highway will pass through Tangi (NH-16), Brahmagiri, Puri, Konark, Astarang, Naugaon, Paradip Port, Ratanpur, Satabhaya, Dhamra, Basudevpur, Talapada, Chandipur, Chandaneswar and Digha”, the State’s works department stated in a letter to NHAI chief general manager (technical).
“The Odisha government has accorded consent to the coastal highway. Now NHAI will seek different regulatory approvals mandatory for the project because of the fact that the highway will pass close to forest areas, rivers besides the Bay of Bengal coastline,” Ram Prasad Panda, Chief General Manager, NHAI.