Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has accused Odisha Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Pattnaik of stalling the Rs 9,000 crore, 415 km-long Digha-Gopalpur Coastal Highway project in the state to prevent Prime Minister (PM) Modi from getting the credit for it.
“The Odisha government has been adopting delaying tactics and has not been forthcoming in extending the requisite clearances related to forest and costal regulation zones,” the minister said, as reported by PTI.
“Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scuttling the development of the state, by creating obstacles in starting this 415-km coastal highway project, which will be a game changer for overall development of the state,” he added.
The minister went on to describe the project as the ‘grandest ever’ undertaken in the coastal state.
"The 415 KM long highway will hug the Bay of Bengal along the coast of Odisha and create unprecedented avenues for development. The ambitious Digha to Gopalpur coastal highway under Bharatmala Pariyojana is one of the grandest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Odisha," he said.
The project consists of two stretches, the 252 km long Gopalpur-Ratanpur stretch and the over 162 km long Ratanpur-Digha stretch, an earlier press release by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways read. The former passes through the Chatrapur-Satapada-Konark-Astrang-Naugaon–Paradip-Ratanpur route while the latter is planned along the Basudevpur-Chandipur-Chandaneswar route.
Pradhan also claimed that the NHAI has already approved revised alignments for the projects as per the state government’s suggestions, but is now stuck in the absence of cooperation from BJD government for completion of pre-construction activities.