Bhubaneswar, June 4:
The National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) and the Odisha government on Saturday fixed a timeline for development of 1,912 km national highway running through the state.
A meeting between a delegation of NHAI led by its chairman Raghav Chandra interacted with state government officials to resolve issues relating to several clearances and to expedite the work.
Matters relating to forest diversion, environmental clearance, availability of road construction materials, disbursement of compensation to people, tree felling in forest land and GPS survey were discussed, an official said.
“Odisha is a very fast progressing state from the view points of industrialisation and tourism. The state is also important from the view point of its location. NHAI would work in coordination with state administration for improvement of roads,” said the NHAI chief.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi assured that the state government would expedite all the works and provide necessary support for early completion of the projects.
There are allegations that five out of the eight toll gates managed by NHAI in Odisha collect money in violation of norms, and both NHAI and the state agreed that the state would give a detailed proposal on the matter to the NHAI for consideration of the Surface Transport and Highways Ministry.
Decisions would be taken keeping in view the convenience of the people, said Padhi.
It was decided in the meeting that NHAI would engage retired Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) and Odisha Forest Service (OFS) officials to expedite the land acquisition and forest diversion proposals. (IANS)