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5K CR Annum For Highways

Bhubaneswar: Union Government is spending on an average nearly Rs.5000 Crore per Annum for development and maintenance of National Highways and State Highways in Odisha.

According to official sources in the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways during last three years Union Government has provided Rs.14,832 Crore for development and maintenance of National Highways and State Highways supported by Central Road & Infrastructure Fund(CRIF).

While Rs.4651 Crore has been spend on all on-going National Highways in 2019-20, Rs.282 Crore was spent from CRIF for care of State Highways.

During 2020-21, Rs.4622 Crore was spent on National Highways and Rs.430 Crore on State Highways funded by CRIF.

Similarly, during 2021-22, Rs.4417 Crore expenditure was made on National Highways, whereas Rs.460 Crore was funded by CRIF for State Highways care.

More and more funds are pumped from CRIF to take care of State Highways, officials say.

As the State Government is utilizing funds in a time bound manner, funding from CRIF is on rise, officials say.

While there is 5753 Kilometre long National Highways in Odisha, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRT&H) is primarily responsible for development & maintenance of National Highways apart from looking after the works on State Highways under Central Road & Infrastructure Fund (CRIF).

Development of National Highways such as capacity up-gradation, repair, rehabilitation, reconstruction of existing pavement, bridges, culverts & structures, construction of Road Over Bridges, Road Under Bridges, Underpasses, Flyovers, and Installation of safety measures, is a continuous process.

And such works are taken up depending upon traffic demand, existing condition, safety threats to traffic, inter-se priority basis, officials say.

While People’s Representatives are demanding development of the stretch of National Highway-326 from Jeypore to Motu via Malkangiri of 202 KM length to four lane standards, technical reasons are cited not to upgrade the connectivity.

As per extant policy of the Union Government, a stretch of National Highway is eligible for up-gradation from 2-lane to 4-lane standards when the traffic level reaches 10,000 Passenger Car Units (PCU).

The Jeypore – Motu section of NH-326 via Malkangiri does not require up-gradation to 4-lane standards at present traffic level varying from 1852 PCU to 5826 PCU.

Looking at the growing vehicular traffic and rise in number of accidents, peoples’ representatives are demanding for four lanning of the critical connectivity in the Maoist infested zone.