Budget boost likely for state road projects | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com


Bhubaneswar: With an aim to strengthen connectivity, the state government is likely to make a substantial allocation for road projects in the annual budget for 2020-21 to be presented by finance minister Niranjan Pujari on Tuesday.
Officials said the state highway development project, the Biju Expressway project, the Capital Road Development Programme, road reconstruction in Left-wing extremism (LWE)-affected areas and Mukhya Mantri Sadak Yojana will get adequate allocation in the budget.
Announced in August 2014, the 639-km Biju Expressway has been conceived as an economic corridor project connecting Rourkela and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. The project has been designed to pass through western Odisha and the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region.
While the Rourkela-Sambalpur stretch (163km) of the project has already been completed, around 182km stretch of the project is being developed by the National Highways Authority of India. The state works department has taken up the development of the remaining 293km.
“Work on different patches of the project is going on in full swing. We expect the project to be completed by December next year. We hope that the state government will allocate adequate funds for the project. A detailed project-wise allocation will only be known after the presentation of the budget,” a senior works department official said.
Under the state highways development project, the government has taken up the ambitious task of developing the state highways. By the end of December 2019, about 2,000 km of state highways have been widened since 2013-14. Adequate funds are also likely to be earmarked for the project during 2020-21 for the project.

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