Almost four years after its approval by the Centre, Odisha government has given green signal to the 415 km long Coastal Highway project (cost Rs 7,500 crore) that will link Gopalpur in the state and Digha of West Bengal.
“The government has given its approval for the coastal highway project,” Works Minister Prafulla Mallick told reporters on Thursday.
The coastal highway project, announced by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in April 2015, spreads over 415 kilometres from Gopalpur to Digha.
The project was cleared by the state government after it agreed to the original alignment of Satpada-Digha stretch via Puri-Konark-Astarang-Ratanpur-Dhamara-Basudevpur- Chandipur.
The Odisha government also informed the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) to proceed for obtaining clearances for the project.
Earlier the state government had raised objections on the alignment presented by the NHAI. This apart, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had made some observations on the alignment passing through Chilika Lake and other eco-sensitive areas following which the alignment was modified.
As per the proposal, a 451-km-long coastal highway will be built and named as 516-A. In the first phase, the 240 kilometres stretch from Gopalpur to Ratanpur will be constructed at an estimaed cost of Rs 2,196 crore, officials said.