Budget Boost Likely For State Road Projects

With a vision to improve network transportability and connectivity throughout the state, the government may allocate a substantial chunk of the annual state budget pie towards road projects. The budget is to be presented by Odisha’s Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari on Tuesday.

Officials in the know say that the state highway development project, along with the Biju Expressway Project, the Capital Road Development Project, road reconstruction in Left-Wing affected areas and Mukhya Mantri Sadak Yojana will get an adequate allocation in the budget.

Announced in August 2014, the 639 km Biju Expressway has been conceived as an economic corridor project connecting Rourkela and Jagdalpur in Chattisgarh. The project has been so designed as to pass through western Odisha and the Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi (KBK) belt.

While the Rourkela-Sambalpur stretch (around 163 km) has already been completed, the other 182 km stretch of the project is being developed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The remaining 239 km of the road network will be developed by the state PWD department.

Under the state highways development project, the government has taken up an ambitious plan of developing the state highways. By the end of December 2019, around two thousand kilometres of such highways have been widened.

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