Bhubaneswar: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday took up several important infrastructure projects with union road transport & highways minister Nitin Gadkari on virtual mode.

Union petroleum & steel minister Dharmendra Pradhan also participated.

Initiating the discussion, chief minister Patnaik proposed for early completion of various ongoing NH projects in mines rich Keonjhar district and subsequent 8-laning of the projects.

The chief minister added that Keonjhar is quite an important district for the state’s economy and also for the steel industry of the entire country. He further stated that there have been some measures proposed in the Union Budget to increase material availability for steel.

Patnaik also proposed a 300 Km 8-lane integrated economic corridor from Paradip to Barbil consisting 6 stretches. He suggested, in the interim, the option of 4-laning of these roads with service roads can also be explored.

The State is willing to be a partner and extend all support to this economic corridor, he said.

The chief minister also proposed 300 Km Digha-Satpada coastal Highways and early solution to various issues relating to this project. He informed that the State government has given all necessary clearances for this project and it can be taken up immediately.

Union minister Gadkari agreed to the chief minister’s proposal.

As per the discussion, the 4-laning of 166 kilometer Panikoili-Remuli section of NH-20 is almost over and the rest portion will be completed soon. The Union Minister assured to complete it within one year. Similarly, the 4-laning of 43 kilometer Remuli-Koida and 104 kilomiter Singara-Binjabahal NHs will be completed by June 2021.

After the completion of 4-laning of these roads, steps will be taken for 8-laning of these roads.

As for the Paradip-Barbil economic corridor proposal, the Union Minister assured all support for early start to this ambitious project.

This will be developed as an integrated 8-lane economic corridor.

Similarly, the issues of ports connectivity including Gopalpur, Subarnarekha, Astharang, Paradip and Dhamara were discussed and it was decided that appropriate steps will be taken for quick completion of these projects.

Among other issues, Ampani-Jaeypore Road which is a part of Biju Express Way, Bhubaneswar-Puri Express Way and Raipur-Visakhapatnam Road were also discussed.

The Chief Minister thanked Union Minister Shri Gadkari for fruitful discussion over various important infra projects and his assurance for early completion of a bridge near Kanupur Irrigation Project in Keonjhar district.

Senior officers of Union Government, State Government and the NHAI participated in the discussion.