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NHAI to begin land acquisition for coastal highway

Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021
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The land acquisition for the ambitious coastal highway project will commence soon as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has initiated the required formalities with the Odisha government for the exercise. 
The nodal agency has written to the district collectors of Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada to form a competent authority for land acquisition (CALA) for the major infrastructure project. 
In Phase-I, land acquisition for the Tangi-Ratanpur stretch will start following formation of CALA by the concerned district collectors at their end. 
Though the coastal highway project worth Rs 7,500 crore was initially proposed to connect Gopalpur in Ganjam to Digha in West Bengal, the alignment (proposed path) has now been changed in view of environmental concerns. 
The project, proposed under the Bharatmala Pariyojana of the Union government, will now start from NH-16 near Tangi in Khurda district and developed in two stretches -- Tangi-Ratanpur and Ratanpur-Digha. 
While the total length of the project, announced by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in April 2015 was 451 km initially, it has now been reduced by around 72 km. 
The terms of reference (ToR) of the proposed stretch has already received approval of various competent authorities. NHAI has planned to float tender for the project's execution after the land acquisition process begins by March 2022. 
The length of the proposed Tangi-Ratanpur stretch, which will pass through Puri, Konark, Astarang, Naugaon and Paradip Port and end at Ratanpur is approximately 177 km.  
The project will also provide connectivity to nearly 100 villages in Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada districts. Around 797 ha of land, including 542 ha of private area, will be acquired for the Tangi-Ratanpur stretch. 
The project will pass through 11 rivers; NHAI has planned to construct 20 major and 69 minor bridges. The Puri-Konark marine drive will also be a part of the project. The terms of reference (ToR) for Ratanpur-Digha stretch of the coastal highway project is also expected soon.
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