New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) Union Road Transport and Highways Minister T R Baalu today asked Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to firmly deal with the menace of overloaded trucks plying on National Highways in his state, taking a heavy toll of the road infrastructure.
During a meeting with Mr Patnaik, who called on him here to discuss the ongoing road projects in the state, Mr Baalu said the menace of overloaded trucks had taken its toll on NH 215 (Panikoili to Rajamunda), resulting in the rapid deterioration of the road condition.
The minister said the state government should organise a meeting with all the stakeholders within a fortnight for finalising the modalities for strengthening of NH 215.
Mr Baalu suggested that such a meeting should also be attended by the Union Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Secretaries.
On a request from the Chief Minister, the minister also made an immediate sanction of Rs. 95 crore for improving and strengthening of NH 215, which has been included under the NHDP Phase III.
The minister also informed him that preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for four-laning and upgrading National Highways in the state by NHAI was under way.
Meanwhile, in order to improve the deteriorating condition of the highways in the state, the ministry would allocate additional Rs 45 crore, he said.
Regarding the Vijayawada-Ranchi Road, Mr Baalu said the Orissa government would have to expedite the finalisation of the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for the remaining 600 km of this route in the state.
''The Orissa government should make a detailed presentation on this project as it comprises National Highways, State Highways and village roads,'' he said.
Mr Baalu said he would also interact with the Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand governments to expedite finalisation of the modalities for this project.
Regarding the road connectivity to Paradip Port (NH 5A), he told Mr Patnaik that land acquisition for NHDP in general and Paradip port in particular needed to be expedited by the state goverment.