BHUBANESWAR: In his reply, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Wednesday that no forest clearance is required as the project site is in non-forest land. “I understand that no forest clearance is necessary for construction of the bridge as the proposed site is non-forest in nature,” the Chief Minister said replying to a letter from Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari.
“The issue of forest clearance raised in your December 5 letter is not related to the construction of the bridge,” Naveen said and added, “this has been confirmed in the letter of the state forest authorities.”
Besides, the project director of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at Rourkela has also stated that the land where second bridge over Brahmani has to be constructed is non-forest, he said and added, “in this view, there is no impediment for the NHAI to start construction work even tomorrow. The Chief Minister assured to extend all support of the State Government in NHAI works.
The Chief Minister said a delegation from Sundargarh district met him on December 4 and discussed about the problems faced by the people of Rourkela due to the precarious condition of the bridge over Brahmani. “They demanded immediate action keeping in view the safety of the commuters and sought intervention by the State Government,” he said and added, “I assured them that I would take up the matter with the Union Government.”
Naveen said, the State Government is willing to construct the second bridge over river Brahmani near Panposh out of its own resources if the Centre is not starting work immediately. “You may well appreciate the urgency of the bridge for which I had earlier written on December 2, 2014 and May 24, 2017 explaining that this bridge is the economic lifeline for this part of the state,” he said.