SAMBALPUR: Nearly five years after it was announced, the much-hyped Burla ring road project has no land to call its own. Of the 14-km new road from Chaurpur area under Sambalpur city limits till Ashok Niwas in Burla, in the first phase, approval was accorded for the first 3.5 km from Chaurpur to Mundoghat. Tender for the same was also finalised. However, there has been no progress after that.
Sources in the Public Works Department (PWD) said, the project is facing setback due to land hurdles as around 41.83 acre private land will be affected by the project. Initially, the government had planned to purchase the land at price ranging from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 13 lakh per acre. However, the landowners have reportedly been demanding to sell at higher rates which led to the delay.
Executive Engineer of PWD Division-II, Basista Pattnaik said, the project cannot start unless land is acquired and possession taken up. “We have already given a proposal to the government to acquire the land and are awaiting a response,” he said.
The two-lane ring road project was proposed to provide alternative route from Sambalpur to Burla and approved by the government in 2016 keeping in view expansion of the city. The demand for an alternative route had been gaining momentum as traffic congestion on the old route from existing ring road passing through Durgapali area had increased significantly. Many heavy vehicles of nearby industries too ply on the road to reach the National Highway 53.
Apart from those going to Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences And Research (VIMSAR) everyday, the ring road, once ready, would be helpful for numerous students studying at Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) and Sambalpur University. The proposed ring road will also provide better connectivity to Basantpur area where permanent campus of the IIM-Sambalpur, second campus of the Gangadhar Meher University (GMU) besides campus of Odisha State Open University (OSOU) are coming up.