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Chilika To Have 2 'Signature Bridges', Odisha Suggests Re-Alignment Of Proposed Coastal Highway

13 February 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: As the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is going to build the much sought-after coastal highway along the Odisha coastline, a high level meeting was held at the State Secretariat here between the Central authorities and the State Government to discuss the modalities.

Soon after the significant meeting, Odisha Works Secretary Nalini Kanta Pradhan informed media, “Today there was a high level discussion on the proposed coastal highway to be built by the NHAI. Last year in April, there had been a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary. Adequate suggestions had been given then to the NHAI on the routes of the proposed coastal highway. We had sought that the necessary alignment to be such that it passes nearer the coastline.”

He added, “Whatever the Government of India has planned, it was today shown at the meeting by the Central officials. It was discovered that the existing Satapada-Puri route has been taken up in the plan which was disapproved by the Chief Secretary and other officials today.”

“We have suggested for re-alignment towards coastline and to be re-shown to our State Government. Then only it would be approved followed by the CRZ and other approvals as per the procedure,” the Odisha Secretary stated.

He informed, “Two big bridges will be built in Chilika Lake without hampering the habitat of Dolphin and others. The two will be like signature bridges.”

He further informed, “The present plan had also route far away from Konark. Hence, the authorities have been suggested to make the route as far as close to the sea. The people should have the real feel of the coast. The feeling of the sea should be felt through the coastal highway.”

“For the Astaranga port we approved that the coastal highway should be built a bit higher than the port. But we have agreed with their plan for Paradip Port and Dhamra routes. It was also suggested today that near Digha the highway has to be built in a Greenfield manner with connectivity to Subarnarekha mouth, Udaypur and Talasira,” the Odisha Works Secretary further stated adding, “After completion of the re-alignment and re-shown to the Odisha Government, necessary approvals will be given.”

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Nalini Kanta Pradhan, Secretary, Works, Odisha