BHUBANESWAR: A major election promise of the BJD, the Biju Expressway, has not made satisfactory progress in the last three years despite announcement by the State Government at regular intervals that it will be completed in time. Progress of the Biju Expressway along with several other roads was reviewed by Chief Secretary AP Padhi at the State Empowered Committee meeting here on Friday. Padhi has asked Works Department officials to complete construction of the Expressway by 2019.
The meeting was informed by Works Secretary NK Pradhan that construction of the Expressway, stretching over 656 kms from Rourkela to Chandili, has been expedited and required funds have been provided by the Government. The `3200 crore Expressway which has been planned as an economic corridor between Jagdalpur and Rourkela will connect the districts in western quadrant with the ones in the south.
The road will connect Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh with KBK’s Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts. The 355 km road from Rourkela to Nuapada will be made a four lane and the remaining stretch from Nuapada to Chandili, connecting Jagdalpur of Chhattisgarh, will be made into a two lane. “The road from Rourkela to Sambalpur is nearing completion and expected to be commissioned by December, 2017.
Work for the rest stretch has been expedited and will be completed by June, 2019,” Pradhan added. Besides, State Government has completed three roads in a year. State Highway-16 stretching over 86 km from Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district to Khariar in Nuapada district with a project cost of `115 crore has been completed and opened to traffic. Four bridges over river Tel have been completed and opened to traffic with a total expenditure of `32 crore.
Similarly, 41 km road from Berhampur to Taptapani built at a cost of around ` 95 crore has also been completed and opened to traffic within a year. Pradhan said, substantial progress has been made in construction of the road from Jagatpur to Nischintakoili (25 km) and Nischintakoili-Duhuria (24 km) at an estimated cost of `205 crore.
The road project from Chandbali to Kendrapara (56.5km) estimated at around ` 170 crore has been expedited with 16 km nearing completion. Besides, road work from Bhadrak to Pirahat (27.5 km) and Pirahat to Chandbali (17.5 km) is under rapid progress. “Around `174 crore has been invested in all these works during the last one year from July, 2016 to May, 2017. The State road project plan was prepared including these nine roads,” he said.
656 km Expressway stretches from Rourkela to Chandili
355 km road from Rourkela to Nuapada will be made a four lane
● Remaining 301 km stretch from Nuapada to Chandili, connecting Jagdalpur of Chhattisgarh, will be made into a two lane
● Road from Rourkela to Sambalpur expected to be commissioned by December, 2017
Work on rest stretch expedited and to be completed by June, 2019