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Centre delaying approval of road, railway connectivity projects for ports in Odisha

 Port facilitators in Odisha administration are a worried lot as several major road and rail connectivity to the upcoming ports in the state are pending with Union Government.

This will be a major bottleneck in providing infrastructure support to the non major ports of this Eastern State, pointed out Sanjay Rastogi, Principal Secretary Commerce & Transport with Government of India, said sources.

In the recent meeting held by NITI Aayog, Rastogi raised the pending issues and urged the Centre to clear the proposals, said official sources in know of the development. Both road and rail connectivity is crucial for the port development in the state, said he.
Out of 13 major project proposals only two have been included in ambitious National Perspective Plan under Sagarmala and rest are facing uncertainty.
Several up-coming non major ports like Dhamra, Gopalpur, Kiratania, Chudamani, Astaranga, Baliharchandi in Odisha would have been benefitted under the scheme.
While development of four lane road connectivity from Chhatrapur to Gopalpur Port and rail connectivity to Dhamra Port has been included in Sagarmala projects, proposals for other 11 projects have been pending with the Centre.
A major road connectivity like construction of four lane road from Jamujhadi on National Highway (NH)-16 to Dhamra Port via Basudebpur with a length of 58 Kilometer with a cost of Rs.600 Crore is not included in Sagarmala.
Similarly, four-laning of road from Phulnakhara on NH-16 to Astaranga Port via Charichhak-Kakatpur-Astaranga with a length of 74 Kilometers which will cost Rs.682 crore is also not considered.
Four lanning of the road from Rameswar on NH-16 to Baliharachandi port via Birapratappur-Atharanala-Brahmagiri-Sunamuhi entailing an investment of Rs.500 crore is also not included.
Development of four lanning of road from Basta on NH-16 to Choumukha connecting Subarnarekha mouth port via Putura, Baliapal and through village road length 43 Kilometer with a cost estimate of Rs.494 crore is pending.
Similarly, rail connectivity to Subarnarekha port with a length of 45 Kilometer with a cost estimate of Rs.900 crore and similar Rail connectivity to Astarang port with a length of 74 Kilometer having cost of Rs.1480 Crore is pending for approval.
Rail Connectivity to Gopalpur Port having a length of only 7 kilometers with a cost of Rs.160 Crore is also pending for disposal.
An official said that development of four-laning from Jamujhadi on NH-16 is likely to be covered by NHAI under Bharatmala Project.
And Gopalpur Port Rail Connectivity will be considered by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL) under Joint Venture Model, said sources.
However, even as these major projects are missing from the Sagarmala list, it will be difficult for other Ministries to take up these projects as port connectivity is one of the major mandates under the ambitious Sagarmala program.


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