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NHAI seeks Odisha govt.’s nod for coastal highway

The National Highway Authority of India has sought Odisha government’s consent for the 384 km ambitious coastal highway project, which will connect Odisha’s Tangi with West Bengal’s Digha.

Six years after the project was first mooted, the proposed coastal highway under Bharatmala Pariyojana has not made much headway. The major hurdle was environmental concerns.

The road was initially planned through ecologically sensitive Chilika, Balukhanda Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhitarakanika Sanctuary Area and some of the important Olive Ridley turtle nesting sites. After environmentalists raised an alarm, a long bridge proposed over Chilika was shelved, and subsequently Chilika was struck off from the plan. The highway, which was initially planned from Gopalpur of Ganjam district, will now begin from Tangi in Khordha district.

Greenfield project

“We have carried out a realignment to avoid disturbance to coastal biodiversity zones. The road is a green-field project. Some portions of the existing roads near Puri will be part of the highway, otherwise we will have to acquire both private and government land for the project,” said Ram Prasad Panda, Chief General Manager of NHAI, Bhubaneswar.

“Some portions the highway project will require approval under coastal regulation zone guidelines,” Mr. Panda said. Presentation on realignment of the proposed road was presented before the State government earlier this week.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 6:49:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nhai-seeks-odisha-govts-nod-for-coastal-highway/article34958177.ece

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