Ramakanta Biswas

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned an assistance of Rs 356 crore to the Odisha government for commissioning of 35 bridge projects in the State.

The assistance has been sanctioned under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for construction of 35 bridge projects covering 17 districts in the State, said an official statement.  

These bridge projects are intended to provide improvement in rural connectivity to 11.06 lakh people in 1324 villages, the statement issued by NABARD’s Odisha Regional Office added.  

During the current financial year, critical rural infrastructure projects under Drinking Water, Irrigation and Rural Connectivity (Road and Bridge) are being proposed to be supported under RIDF-XXVII, the statement said.

The cumulative sanction under RIDF for the current year stand at Rs 1047 crore, it added. 

These infrastructure projects will play a key role in supporting rural economy by improving the livelihoods of people, the statement said.

According to the NABARD, the highest number of five bridges will come up in the Maoist-infested Malkangiri district, followed by three each in Balasore, Jajpur and Koraput, two each in Jagatsinghpur, Kalahandi, Angul, Nayagarh, Sambalpur and Bhadrak. 

Similarly, one bridge each will come up at Keonjhar, Bolangir, Jharsuguda, Cuttack, Deogarh, Kandhamal and Sundergarh.

It is worth mentioning here that NABARD has already sanctioned RIDF of Rs 254 crore for setting up mega piped drinking water supply projects in Odisha.

The bank will set up two mega piped drinking water supply projects. While one will be in Jajpur district which will cover Badachana and Dharmasala blocks, the other is in Puri district which will cover Brahmagiri and Krushnaprasad blocks.