WB for completion of road in Ganjam

Berhampur: An expert team from the World Bank (WB) has emphasised early completion of 41-km Berhampur-Taptapani Road in Ganjam district of Odisha.

The team reviewed progress of the work on Saturday. The road work, being executed under the World Bank funded State Road Project, was to be completed in November 2010.

The team is also likely to discuss the bottlenecks in the project with chief secretary G C Pati, said a senior engineer of the project.

Work on the Rs 82-crore project began in November 2008. It aimed at improving the state highway, connecting Berhampur with Taptapani, a tourist spot. The delay has escalated the project cost to Rs 87 crore, official sources said.

“Around 30 km of the stretch has been completed. The project was held up due to delay in land acquisition, shifting of electric poles and pipelines and payment of compensation to land losers,” said executive engineer of the project A K Das.

Land in 28 of 31 villages had been acquired. It could not be completed at Digapahandi, Lanjia and Gokarnapur due to some disputes, the sources said.

Project engineers said the contractor has been asked to complete the road work by June, but he has sought time till December.

Commuters are having a harrowing time due to slow progress of the work. “Frequent accidents are being reported from this stretch,” said former chairman, Digapahandi NAC, Hrudaya Ranjan Mekap.