PARADIP: Paradip would be developed into a smart port and smart city at an investment of Rs40,000 crore as part of the Central Government’s plan to bring about a speedy development of Odisha, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced recently.
“The centre is committed to speedy development of Odisha. While road network is being expanded in the State, Paradip will be made a smart port and smart city at a cost of Rs40,000 crore,” the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister said while laying the foundation stone of the long-awaited second bridge on the Brahmani river.
To begin with Rs2,700 crore would be provided for the ambitious project, he said, and an additional amount of Rs2,000 crore would be spent to increase the depth of Paradip Port to enable it to handle a variety of vessels and cargo.
Plans are also afoot to construct a railway line between Paradip and the coal town of Talcher at an investment of Rs9,000 crore, Gadkari said. The coal production capacity of the Talcher coal belt would also be raised up to 300 million tonnes, he said. Apart from these, around Rs1 trillion is being invested in Paradip region for different petroleum and petro-chemical projects, the Minister said.
Referring to the road sector, Gadkari said the Centre has spent over Rs 7,000 crore for constructing new highways in Odisha during the last three years and raised the highway length from 4,632km to 6,993km.
Stating that around Rs1.5 trillion is expected to be invested for expansion of highways and roads in the State in the near future, the Minister said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government has increased the road construction rate to 23km per day.
Gadkari said the new bridge over Brahmani river, being constructed at a cost of around Rs550 crore, would be completed in two years. The bridge would be part of a six-lane national highway from Rajamunda to Biramitrapur.