Gadkari declares Gopalpur-Digha road as national highway

Pipili: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today declared the coastal road coastal road connecting Odisha with West Bengal as a National Highway and announced that Rs 5,000 crore would be spent for its improvement.

“I declare the road between Gopalpur (Odisha) and Digha in West Bengal as a National Highway. The centre will spend Rs 5,000 crore for the improvement of this 500 kilometer long Highway,” Gadkari said here.

The minister for road transport, highways and shipping also dedicated to the nation four laning of 67-km Bhubaneswar-Puri section of NH-316 ahead of Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebar Rath Yatra.

The detailed project report (DPR) for the new National Highway from Gopalpur to Digha would be prepared before coming December, Gadkari said, adding the major portion of the new NH will pass through Odisha coast.

Gadkari also declared the 40-km long New Jagannath Sadak connecting NH-5 and NH-316, as a National Highway, Gadkari said which was earlier demanded by union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Seeking support from Odisha government, Gadkari said the centre was ready to construct better roads in the mineral rich state.

“I assure the chief minister that the centre would take up road projects in Odisha on priority basis in order to make the state developed,” Gadkari said.

The minister further said, the government has booked 95 lakh tonnes of cement for the purpose. As many as 37 cement manufacturing companies and 101 factories have offered to supply the cement at the rate of Rs 120 to Rs 140, he said, adding this would help reducing cost of construction besides quality roads.

Gadkari, who claimed to have contributed to the idea behind the PMGSY programme during A B Vajpayee tenure, said now he has been put in charge of the important ministry like road transport, highways and shipping.

Besides Gadkari, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Odisha minister Pradeep Maharathy also addressed the function attended by about 50,000 people here.