Orissa seeks Rs3000 crore to strengthen the National highways

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 26 (UNI) The Orissa government has demanded Rs 600 crore per annum from the Central government for next five years for strengthening National Highways in the state.

State Minister for Works and Housing A U Singh Deo made the demand at the conference of Highway Ministers of the states, chaired by Union Surface Transport Minister T R Balu in New Delhi yesterday.

The Minister said out of the total 3074 km of NH in the state, 1064 km comprising 655 km of single lane and 409 km of intermediate lane needed to be developed into two-lane standard.

Mr Singh Deo demanded Rs 2000 crore for the double laning of the NH and Rs 1000 crore for strengthening the existing two-lane carriages.

He also requested the Union government to follow the Orissa R&R policy in any works related to NHs in the state. The Minister said the NHs in the state were in bad condition due to inadequate provisions of fund under the repair head.

Mr Singh Deo said while the cost of repairing was going high, the allocation for repair in the current year had been decreased.

''The allocation under the repair head was reduced to Rs 11.85 crore in the current year against Rs 13.65 crore released last year and demanded Rs 36 crore for the proper maintenance of the NHs,'' he said.

The Minister said every year the NH 60 gets breached at several points during the monsoon leading to traffic dislocation and floods due to inadequate provisions of drainage facilities. He urged the Union Minister for the immediate rectification of these errors.

Mr Singh Deo also demanded early competition of Bhadrak-Balasore (62.64km), Sunakhala-Ganjam (51.60km) and Ganjam-Ichhapur (50.80km) roads under Golden Quadrilateral scheme, four laning of NH 215 and NH 200.

The Minister requested the Union government to allocate more fund under Central Road Funds (CRF), Economic Importance (EI) and Interstate Connectivity (ISC) as the state's performance under these schemes was very encouraging.

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