BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Thursday directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure completion of road projects sanctioned under National Highway Inter-connectivity Improvement Programme (NHIIP).
Five road projects, including three under NHIIP, are under implementation in the State. The projects, estimated to cost Rs 1,194 crore, are financed by the World Bank.
The Government has sanctioned Rs 185.48 crore for widening of 61-km stretch from Bhojpur to Chhatabar (NH 49 to 53), Rs 197.35 crore for Nabarangpur-Koksara section of NH-26 (55 km) and Rs 148.67 crore for Nuapada-Bangomunda (68 km) connecting NH 353 to NH 59. While work on Nuapada-Bangomunda project is in progress, bids for two other projects are under finalisation, sources said.
Chief Secretary GC Pati reviewed the progress of NHIIP projects in the State along with road and railway over bridge projects under construction in Bhubaneswar-Puri section.
Since the Ministry of Environment and Forest has decided to delegate power to grant forest clearance to linear projects like road and rail to its Regional Empowered Committee (REC) irrespective of the area of forest land involved, the Chief Secretary asked Collectors and divisional forest officers (DFOs) of districts concerned to submit requisite papers to the REC for timely clearance of the projects.
The Ministry has issued fresh guidelines for linear projects in which permission of gram sabha for land acquisition is not required, Pati said. District Collectors were further directed to take legal action against individuals or organisations creating hurdles on the way of infrastructure projects.
The Works Department was directed to ensure that construction of roads, flyovers, and bypass roads between Bhubaneswar and Puri should completed well before Nabakalebara festival.