Fate of NH-16 expansion hangs in balance

Meanwhile, Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange urged the NHAI authorities to start construction work on three flyovers at Humma, Randha and DRDA Chowk. 

Published: 29th November 2018 05:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th November 2018 07:50 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BERHAMPUR: Uncertainty looms large over six-laning of 56 km stretch of National Highway (NH)-16 (old NH-5) after 41-km Puintola-Girisola section along Andhra-Odisha border was transferred from jurisdiction of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Bhubaneswar division to Visakhapatnam division recently.

Earlier, the stretch, passing through Ganjam district from Girisola to Narayani Chowk, was under NHAI, Bhubaneswar division. Two years back, the district administration had submitted a proposal to NHAI, Bhubaneswar for expansion of the stretch into six lane, construction of service roads and flyovers at seven places. Later, the NHAI authorities conducted a survey and submitted the detailed project report (DPR) to the Central Government for its approval.

But last week, the Central Government transferred the 41-km stretch from Puintola Chowk to Girisola to Visakhapatnam division while the rest 15-km patch from Puintola Chowk to Narayani Chowk remained under NHAI, Bhubaneswar division.

Meanwhile, Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange urged the NHAI authorities to start construction work on three flyovers at Humma, Randha and DRDA Chowk. 

On the other hand, leaders of all political parties in the district have reacted sharply to the decision. BJD leader and Berhampur Development Authority (BeDA) chairman Subash Moharana described it as unjustified and said it reveals step-motherly attitude of the Central Government towards Odisha. 
Ganjam Congress working president Pitabasa Panda demanded that the stretch should be under the jurisdiction of NHAI, Bhubaneswar division for better monitoring of construction work. CPM Odisha unit secretary Ali Kishor Patnaik also echoed similar views.

Ganjam BJP unit president Kanhu Charan Pati said they have appealed to the Central Government to take up the expansion work immediately and withdraw the decision of transferring the 41-km stretch to Visakhapatnam division.

Use of substandard  materials alleged

Keonjhar: The Rimuli-Rajamunda section of National Highway-20, which was constructed recently, has started getting damaged. Locals alleged that a considerable portion on the stretch has sunk due to substandard work and if left unattended can pose continuous hazard to the commuters. Substandard materials have been used in the construction work.

Though the NHAI office at Rourkela was monitoring the work, the road was broken at several places, they added. Social activists said due to use of white metal, the road at several places has sunk, leading to accidents. It was alleged that the contractor engaged in the work had brought the metal from Jharkhand. 


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