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State to prioritize road projects in Maoist-hit districts

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OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 19:

The Odisha government has directed the Works department to give priority to the road projects in Maoist-hit districts under its new scheme, the State High Way Development Programme (SHDP).

Reviewing the progress of SHDP at a high level meeting at the State Secretariat here , chief secretary JK Mohapatra directed the department to prepare monthly work plans against each road project and accomplish the target each month.

Under SHDP, all state highways would be improved to two-lane standards. 2158 kms of state highway would be taken up for the purpose at an estimated cost of Rs 3000 crore during the 12th Plan period, sources said.

A project management cell (PMC) will be set up to manage and monitor the projects under SHDP.

The chief secretary asked the department to engage a professional contract management agency to assist the PMC for timely completion of the project work.

As per the available data, tenders have been issued for a total of 14 road projects of 381 km at an estimated cost of Rs 633 crore.

It was decided in the meeting that the time taken for developing designs, soil testing, various clearances and interdepartmental coordination should be minimized and monthly work target should be fixed at junior and assistant engineer levels.

The chief secretary asked additional chief secretary revenue and disaster management Taradatt to review the road projects in Maoist-hit districts.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 949 crore for 13 road projects having 614.82 kms and one bridge project in the Maoist-hit districts of Sambalpur, Rayagada, Gajapati and Malkangiri.

Out of these projects, 12 projects have been expedited with the utilization of more than 46 percent of the sanctioned amount, the meeting revealed.

Among others, additional chief secretary, Finance UN Behera, principal secretary, Forest and Environment RK Sharma, secretary, Works Nalinikanta Pradhan, PCCF, Nodal RN Reddy, chief engineer, Roads, BC Pradhan and senior officials and engineers of the concerned departments were present at the meeting.

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