BERHAMPUR: The State Government has given nod to the Rs 7,500-crore Coastal Highway project that will link Gopalpur and Digha of West Bengal.
The project, announced by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in 2015, will spread over 415 km.
The National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) has been directed to obtain clearance for the same. The delay has been attributed to disagreements on the project’s alignment plan.
After reservations by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) that it would be ecologically unsustainable to develop the highway in very close proximity to the sea, Chilika Lake and other eco-sensitive areas, the alignment was modified.
The project was cleared after the State Government agreed to the original alignment of Satpada-Digha stretch via Puri-Konark-Astarang-Ratanpur-Dhamara-Basudevpur-Chandipur.
However, alignment from Gopalpur to Chilika Lake will be further reviewed and a decision will be taken later, sources said.
As per the proposal, 240-km stretch from Gopalpur to Ratanpur will be constructed in the first phase at an estimated cost of Rs 2,196 crore and the remaining 175 km Ratanpur to Digha in the second phase.
The highway will be named 516-A.