Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday laid the foundation of seven projects, including long-standing demand of a bridge over Bahuda river, and inaugurated two others in Ganjam district.

The major projects included 9-km long Surangi-Khariaguda road and Rs. 6.03 crore Bahuda bridge at K. Nuagaon under Chikiti Assembly constituency.

These projects would be implemented under the Rural Infrastructure Fund (IRDF) of NABARD.

Around 20,000 people of 33 villages under Chikiti, Patrapur and Digapahandi blocks will benefit from the proposed bridge, which was a long-standing demand of the residents, local MLA Usha Devi said.

The Chief Minister during his whirlwind one-day tour to the district also laid the foundation of the improvement of the Poichandia irrigation project and road in Chikiti.

Patnaik also laid the foundation stone of the ring-road for the beach resort town Gopalpur-on-Sea (Rs. 2.10 crore) and a building for the fire station at Kabisurya Nagar.

The much needed Ring Road for the seaside town would be helpful for the smooth arrival of tourists to Gopalpur, Pradip Kuamr Panigrahi, Gopalpur MLA said.