BALANGIR: The long-standing demand of locals for Balangir by-pass road will soon be fulfilled with the Union Ministry of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping approving the project.
In a letter to Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said his Ministry has approved `190 crore for land acquisition for the project to NHAI. Earlier, Pradhan had written to Gadkari seeking his support for the project.
As residents of Balangir town are facing traffic problems due to rising number of vehicles and encroachment of roads, they had demanded early completion of the bypass road in the town that has been left halfway.
National Highways (NHs) 26 and 57 pass through Balangir town. Due to lack of a bypass or ring road, heavy traffic is witnessed in the town area.
In 2001, the then Balangir MLA AU Singhdeo had laid foundation stone of the 22-km bypass project at Bijakhaman. However, the project did not move forward due to unknown reasons.
In 2009, the State Government approved the project to connect four corners of the town through a bypass road to ease traffic congestion.
According to the proposal, work was to be implemented in two phases and in the first phase, an 11-km road was to be built from Biramuna village near NH 26 to Bijakhaman on NH 57 (Titlagarh Road).
The PWD, NHAI and the IDCO were entrusted with the task for construction of the road.
The IDCO has completed its first phase construction of the road and work has been stopped at the foothills of the Chandali Hill near Sadeipali, five km from Samblapur road.
The remaining six km road from Larkipali touching Patnagarh road via Medical College and Kendriya Vidyalaya to reach the NH-26 at Bijakhaman will be constructed by Public Works Department.
Similarly, another 12-km stretch of the project from Madhiapali on Sambalpur road, which will reach the NH-26 at Bijakhaman via NH-57 near Puintala, will be constructed by the NHAI.
The last two stretches have private land and reserve forest land. The Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Ministry has approved `190 crore for acquisition of private land and reserve forest land for this 12-km stretch of the by-pass project.