A coastal highway, around 451-km-long, is proposed to be constructed along the Odisha coastline with an emphasis on designing it in a manner which is “aesthetic and environmentally compatible”, officials said on Sunday.
A high-level meeting of the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI), Odisha region, held under the chairmanship of Development Commissioner and Chief Secretary (in-charge) R Balakrishnan, considered the proposed alignment of the highway on Saturday.
Balakrishnan directed the officials concerned to make the road design “aesthetically” and in a way which is “environmentally compatible”, in consultation with the Forest and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) authorities.
He also sought steps to plan the alignment in a manner which boosts tourism and port-based industrial activities in the state.
The NHAI was also advised to share the plan with the respective departments and collectors for their considered inputs, an official statement said.
Dharmanada Sarangi, Chief General Manager (CGM), NHAI, who made a PowerPoint presentation on the proposal, said the proposed highway currently proceeds through Chhatraput-Satapada-Konark-Astaranga-Nuagaon-Paradeep–Ratanpur -Satabhaya-Dhamara-Basudevpur-Talapada-Chandipur-Chandaneswar– Digha.
Of the total length of 451 km, around 29 km come under Ganjam district, 153 km under Puri district, 54 km under Jagatsinghpur, 49 km under Kendrapara, 61 km under Bhadrak, 99 km under Balasore district and six km connecting East Midnapore district in West Bengal, he said, adding that over 178 villages would be connected by the highway.
It would also have bridges over several rivers including the Rushikulya, Kushabhadra, Mahanadi, Brahmani, Baitarani and Subarnarekha, besides Chilika lake, the statement said.
The road, which would boost tourism and industrial activities in the region, would also serve as a highway linkage to all the ports in the state.
Available data shows that so far, two expert consultants have been engaged for carrying out the preliminary survey and preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR).
While the preliminary survey has been done and the preliminary alignment of the road suggested, the DPR is expected to be prepared by February, 2017, the statement said.