Odisha CM writes to Centre over pending NH work, cites increasing accidents and public agitation

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to the Centre over the delay in upgradation of a section of NH-55 in the State and sought intervention for speedy completion of the project. In a letter to Union Minister Road Transport and Highways dated 24.03.2023, the CM stated that the upgradation of the Cuttack-Angul-Sambalpur section of NH-55 has been pending since more than five years. The work, which was taken up by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in 2017, is still not completed and is leading to frequent accidents, he wrote, further stressing that the inordinate delay has fuelled considerable public agitation and discontentment among the people of Western Odisha for whom the stretch is a lifeline.

“I would like to draw your kind attention to the fact that the rehabilitation and upgradation of Cuttack-Angul-Sambalpur section of the NH-55 from km 0.400 to km.265.000 to 4-lane carriageway is being carried out by NHAI since 2017. It is a matter of great concern that even after more than five years, up-gradation work is yet to be completed.

The above section of the NH-55 serves as a lifeline to millions of people of Western Odisha. haphazard construction activities and miserable plight of the road causes frequent accidents leading to loss of human  lives. During the last two years, as many as 399 accidents have taken place causing 196 fatalities. There is public agitation and discontentment among people for inordinate delay in completion of the road work. It is worth mentioning that the concern of the State government on this count has been communicated to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways earlier. Progress of the instant project is being reviewed with the regional authorities of NHAI at regular intervals but no satisfactory outcome is visible.  I take this opportunity to seek your intervention for early completion of the project which will go a long way in redressing the pending demand of the people in the State,” the letter read.

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