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Cabinet Clears Biju Expressway Expansion

Bhubaneswar: The State Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday decided to expand the Biju Expressway by constructing roads and 25 bridges in Kalahandi and Nuapada districts.

Briefing about the Cabinet decisions, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said, “The Cabinet took 11 major decisions today out of which four are related to construction and widening of ‘Biju Expressway’ for enhanced connectivity in western Odisha.”

The project worth Rs 448.02 crore has been approved for construction of the road of 174.5 km length, passing through two districts–Kalahandi and Nuapada, he said.

The total length of the expressway (Ghatipada-Sinapali) in Nuapada district will be 104.65 km including 6 minor bridges and 6 major bridges, while a 69.85 km long stretch will be constructed in Kalahandi district (Sinapali-Dharmagarh-Ampani) including construction of 11 minor bridges and 2 major bridges.

This will not only provide enhanced connectivity in the western Odisha but will also provide impetus to the industrial growth and overall economic development in the region, he added.  

The State Cabinet has also approved the proposal for construction of box drain in Cuttack city under JICA assisted Odisha Integrated Sanitation Improvement Project (OISIP).

Drain will be constructed between Patapola to Matrubhawan in Cuttack with a cost of Rs450.44 crore. The construction works will start from July and scheduled for completion by December, 2022.

Frequent flooding and inundation in the city during the monsoon season were the perennial problems faced by the people of Cuttack, which required to be comprehensively addressed with significant infrastructure augmentations, an official said.

Another proposal for creation of 220 new Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) posts has been approved by the Cabinet. It will augment the existing promotional facilities in the mid and senior level posts. With the creation of new OAS posts, the total strength of the cadre has been increased to 2123.

The Cabinet decided to transfer the State PSU—Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (IDCOL) from the Industries Department to the Steel and Mines Department.

Since the primary objective of IDCOL has now been shifted towards the mining sector from industrial activities, the Cabinet has decided to transfer the PSU by amendment of the Odisha Government Rules of Business, officials said.

The PSU was set up in 1962 to promote, establish and manage Industries for initiating industrialization in the state and creation of employment opportunities. However, it has been operating lime stone mines, iron ore mines, manganese mines and chromite mines for the past several years.