WB authorities displeased over delay in project

Kendrapara: World Bank authorities have expressed displeasure over the inordinate delay in handover of the roadside land required for widening of the 106-KM long Cuttack-Chandballi state highway in state, official sources said.

The funding agency has refused to start road widening work for the Rs 800 crore worth state highway project as the state government agencies have failed to make the transfer of the 30 per cent of roadside land to the executing agency, sources said.

The Chief Engineer, World Bank Projects (Odisha), Nalinikanta Pradhan in a communication to the state government has expressed dissatisfaction over the inordinate delay in diversion of roadside land in favour of the project.

The land acquisition and handover process is complete in only two villages in Kendrapara district, while roadside land is yet to be acquired and handed over in fifty more villages.

In adjoining Bhadrak, the process is not complete in all the seven roadside villages, while roadside land transfer has come to an end in 21 villages in Cuttack district. Land transfer process is still incomplete in 17 more villages.

The project that envisages widening the circuitous 106-km long highway is widely regarded as the lifeline for people in Kendrapara district. Besides Kendrapara district, the road project traverses through Cuttack and Bhadrak district.

World Bank funds for the project were lying practically unused for over five years as land acquisition and ancillary project-related work moved at snail`s pace, sources said.