Mrunal Manmay Dash

Targeting the Odisha government, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shripad Yesso Naik on Tuesday said that the BJD government is the major hurdle standing in the way of making Paradip port India’s number 1.

Expressing his displeasure while on an Odisha visit, Naik said not only the port, the Odisha government has turned out to be a hurdle in the development of tourism in the State too.

"Paradip Port will be the number one port in the country in the next one year. This would have happened many years ago. But that was not possible due to lack of good transportation facilities to the port. The road isn't good there. A very narrow and broken road connects the port. That's why the port doesn't have proper business. It is the job of the state government to connect the port with good roads,” Naik said.

“The port has appealed to the state government several times to widen the road. But the state government is not doing anything about that,” he alleged.

Naik extended Centre’s help to develop the road too.

“We agree to help the state government. If the state government agrees to widen the road Paradip will be the number one port in the country within the next one year. I appeal to the state government to immediately start the work of widening the road. This will lead to the development of Odisha and India,” he said.

Moving on to tourism, Naik said there are ample opportunities for the development of tourism in Odisha. “If the state government proposes any plan, the central government is ready for all assistance. Centre has already implemented many schemes like ‘Prasad’ and ‘Swadeshi Darshan Yojana’ for the development of tourism,” Naik said.

BJD MLA, Sambit Routray in response to Union Min Shripad Naik, said, "If we take to the streets, then we will shut Paradip Port in an hour. Paradip Port was set up by Biju Babu, but the President in her speech did not even utter Biju Babu's name once, it seems to be political."