Bhubaneswar, Apr 7 (PTI) The Odisha government today held discussion with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the development of a proposed 450 kilometre coastal highway along the state’s coast.

Anand Kumar Singh, Member, NHAI, presented the draft proposal of the highway at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A P Padhi.

The chief secretary suggested the NHAI to preserve the coastal character while developing the highway.

“Around 450 km of coastal highway would be constructed in Odisha. Today, we discussed about alignment of the roads.

The issues relating to Puri-Konark marine drive road, alignment at Astanarag Port, Jambu forest area, Bhitarkanika reserve forest, proposed ports, alignment of road at Satapada, bridge over the lake Chilika and other issues were discussed and resolved,” Padhi told reporters after the meeting.

NHAI Member Singh said, Coastal NH is an ambitious programme of the Government of India and it will be developed as an economic and tourism corridor. NHAI has prepared a draft project. Since the Odisha government is a major stakeholder in the project, issues regarding its alignment was thoroughly discussed in the meeting.

The proposed road will connect places like Ratanpur, Satapada, Konark, Astrang, Chilika, Satabhaya, Dhamara, Basudevpur, Talapada, Chandipur, Chandaneswar, and Digha in West Bengal.

Out of the total length of 451 km, around 29 kms will fall under Ganjam district, 153 kms under Puri district, 54 kms under Jagatsinghpur, 49 kms under Kendrapara, 61 kms under Bhandrakh, 99 kms under Balasore district and 6 km connecting East Medinipur in West Bengal.

More than 178 villages in all these districts would be connected by the road. There would be bridges over river Rushikulya, Palur Sahib canal, Chilka lake, among others.

The road would provide a boost to tourism and industrial activities in the region. It would also serve as a highway linkage to all ports in the state, officials said.

Preliminary survey has been conducted and a feasibility proposal has been prepared, Singh said, adding that the project will be given a final shape afte finalization of the alignment.

This apart, the chief secretary also asked the NHAI to fix signages and road indicators in Odia on all National Highways passing through Odisha.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.