Bhubaneswar, Feb 10 (PTI) East Coast Railway (ECoR) Sunday said it has invited tender for a major bridge on Tel river as part of the 289-km Khurda Road-Balangir new line project.

The long-awaited rail line project, which was sanctioned in 1994-95, seeks to connect western Odisha with coastal parts of the state via Khurda, Nayagarh, Boudh, Sonepur and Balangir districts.

The proposed bridge over the Tel river, a major tributary of the Mahanadi near Sonepur town, will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 23 crore.

It is the longest bridge of the new line project, an ECoR statement said.

The confluence of Mahanadi River and Tel is about 2.50 km downstream from the proposed location of the bridge.

During peak flood, the rail bridge will have a lot of influence of Mahanadi due to merging of both the rivers in a very short distance without any appreciable bends, it said.

Keeping this in mind, it is proposed to provide 17 spans of 45.70 m each during the construction of the bridge, the statement said.

Rs 350 crore has been allocated in the interim budget this year for the Khurda Road-Balangir new rail line project.

About 66 km between Khurda Road and Nayagarh stations from Khurda Road side has been commissioned and the first stretch of 15 km from Balangir side has been completed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month flagged off a train from Balangir side on the Balangir-Bichhupali route which would connect Bichhupali to Jharsuguda and Vizianagaram main line through Balangir.

The Odisha government has formed a joint venture with the Ministry of Railways to carry out the project.

The project is proposed to be completed by May 2021, sources said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.