JAGATSINGHPUR: After a delay of nearly five years, the much-awaited national highway (NH) linking project from OMP Square in Cuttack to Nuagaon here will commence soon. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Monday issued notification for expansion of NH-55 from OMP Square to Nuagaon village, which is near the proposed Sajjan Jindal-led JSW steel plant site under Erasama tehsil, through Kandarpur.
Of this 94.139 km long NH stretch, 15.339 km comes under Cuttack district and the rest 78.800 km is in Jagatsinghpur. A total of nine bridges and six by-passes will be constructed as part of this project. A total of 113.359 acre Government and 843.790-acre private land are required for the NH. The district administration has already identified six places for construction of by-passes. While a 4.8 km long by-pass will be constructed at Daleighai, another with a length of 7.850 km will come up at Jagatsinghpur. Similarly, the other places where the by-passes will be constructed are Balikuda-Borikina-Kania-Ibrisingh (18.350 km), Erasama-Japa-Bhuana (4.650 km), Chatua (2.6 km) and Balitutha (1.8 km).
District Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra said the administration has already initiated steps for improvement of infrastructure on NH-55. “The road for land acquisition for the NH project and shifting of utilities has been cleared after the Central Government issued the notification. The process will start very soon,” he added.
In 2015, the Ministry of Highways and Road Transport had declared that Cuttack-Jagatsinghpur-Balikuda-Nuagaon State Highway will be upgraded into an NH. However, no progress was made in the project leading to strong resentment among the locals. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had not approved the road alignment, thereby delaying the land identification process for the project.