Odisha Gives Nod To Gopalpur-Digha Coastal Highway Plan

Four years after receiving approval from the Centre, the Odisha government has finally given its nod on the Gopalpur-Digha coastal highway plan. The highway will be linking Gopalpur in the state and Digha in West Bengal, costing approximately Rs 7,500 crore. The project was approved by the state government at a recent meeting headed by Chief Secretary A K Tripathy.

“The government has given its approval for the coastal highway project”, said Works Minister Prafulla Mallick. The approval was in the original alignment of Satpada-Digha stretch via Puri-Konark-Astarang-Ratanpur-Dhamara-Basudevpur- Chandipur. The National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) has been informed to proceed for obtaining clearances for the project.

The approval was stalled keeping in mind the 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 it was modified.

According to official sources, the 451-km-long coastal highway will be built and named as 516-A. In the first phase, the 240 kilometers stretch from Gopalpur to Ratanpur will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2,196 crore.

The alignment from Gopalpur to Chilika Lake is to be reviewed by the state government later.