Mrunal Manmay Dash

Odisha government has revised the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Metro Rail project to extend it till the Cuttack Netaji Bus Terminal (CNBT) in Cuttack.

As part of the revision, plans for a new bridge scheduled to be constructed over Kathajodi river connecting Trishulia and Judicial Academy in Cuttack have been changed too. The bridge tender worth Rs 220 crore has been cancelled.

Instead, a bridge with a multi-modal transport system at a cost of about Rs 700 crore has been proposed. The six-lane bridge will have a rail concept and metro trains will run on it. Buses and other vehicular traffic will ply below it.

As per reports, the DPR is being prepared for this bridge. However, this extended metro project will connect Netaji Bus Terminal through Judicial Academy, Sishu Bhavan, High Court and Purighat.

“A second bridge over the Kathajodi will come up with multi-modal transport like one over Godavari river,” said CMC Corporator Pradipta Khuntia.

Earlier, there was a plan for a metro project from Bhubaneswar airport to Trishulia Chowk. Therefore, considering the number of vehicles plying from Cuttack city to Trishulia, it was planned to construct another 20-meter-wide bridge adjacent to Netaji bridge over Kathjodi. A tender was also floated by the OBCC for the construction of the bridge.

However, with the metro project extending from Bhubaneswar airport to CNBT, there are plans to replace the traditional bridge over Kathjodi with a six-lane multi-lane transport system. The foundation stone of the proposed metro project from the airport to Trishulia Chowk will be laid in January 2024.

Speaking about the project, CMC Mayor Subash Singh said, “Cuttack will be made proud in the new year when the CM inaugurates the metro Rail Project. We have been provided Rs 216 crore for a second bridge over Kathajodi. But we have put it on hold. We are discussing to extend its reach further.”

Meanwhile, residents of the silver city expressed happiness over the airport being directly connected to the state's first modern bus terminal and another mode of transport is going to open up within the twin cities.

“Metro train will immensely benefit the daily commuters between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. If it is expanded further in Cuttack city, it will be a major breakthrough for the urban mobility,” said a Cuttack resident.