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Naveen Patnaik scuttling development of Odisha: Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan

News Agencies | Updated on: 23 January 2019, 10:36 IST

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan Tuesday accused Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of scuttling the state's development by putting obstacles in the launch of a 415-km long coastal highway project.

Describing the Digha-Gopalpur costal highway, as a "game changer" for Odisha, the senior BJP leader said it was one of the grandest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the state.

"The Odisha government has been adopting delaying tactics and has not been forthcoming in extending the requisite clearances related to forest and costal regulation zones," Pradhan, who hails from the state, told reporters here.

The minister said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has undertaken various activities like field survey, detailed land acquisition plan, finalising the bid documents of the project so as to ensure timely and effectively implementation of the project.

The NHAI, after factoring in suggestions of the state government, also approved the revised alignment of the highway and sought cooperation from the BJD government for completion of the pre-construction activity, but did not succeed, he claimed.

"Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scuttling the development of the state, by creating obstacles in starting this 415-km coastal highway project, which will be a game changer for overall development of the state," he alleged.

Pradhan is one of the BJP's prominent face from Odisha and has been leading its campaign so that party could emerge as potent force in the state which is scheduled to go for polls later this year.


First published: 23 January 2019, 10:36 IST