Bhubaneswar: The construction work for the Sambalpur-Cuttack section of National Highway-55 (NH-55) will be completed by June 2022, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari recently informed during the Winter Session of the Parliament.
As per the statement given by Gadkari, the four-laning work of the Sambalpur-Cuttack segment of NH-55 has been divided into three phases.
They are Cuttack-Angul (phase-I), Cuttack-Angul (phase-II) and Angul-Sambalpur (phase-III).
At present 53 per cent, 52 per cent and 70 per cent of the work in the three phases has been completed. The remainder of the construction is likely to be completed by June 30, 2022, the minister said.
As the Cuttack-Angul stretch is quite lengthy, construction has been divided into two phases. The delay in completion of the project has been due to a number of reasons.
Among them are disbursement of land, clearance of forests and removal of government/religious structures. The minister informed that the outbreak of Covid-19 was also responsible in delaying the project.
He also blamed a section of the contractors entrusted with the construction work for holding up the project due to poor financial management. The original project cost of the entire Cuttack-Sambalpur NH stretch is around Rs 3,500 crore.
Out of that, the cost for the Cuttack-Angul (first phase) was earmarked at Rs 999 crore, Cuttack-Angul (second phase) at Rs 991 crore and Angul-Sambalpur at Rs 2,491 crore.
The Union Minister further informed that 29 projects worth Rs 9,292 crore are included in the current year annual plan (2021-22) for Odisha.
The projects would be taken up depending on the completion of pre-construction activities like preparation of DPRs, bidding, land acquisition and other clearances, Gadkari said.
Sources said the foundation for the NH-55 project was laid in December 2018 and was to be completed by September 2020.