Odisha government obstructing Central projects worth Rs 1.36 lakh crore: Pradhan

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Bhubaneswar: February 23: Ahead of general and Assembly elections in Odisha, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday accused the state government of stalling Rs 1,36,417 crore worth of Central projects in the state.

Addressing a press meet here, Pradhan alleged that the state government is not cooperating to implement the projects in Odisha.

Giving details of the projects, Pradhan said while Rs 51,395 crore projects of petroleum and natural gas have been obstructed, Rs 55,563 crore road, transport and highways projects have been stalled in the state.

Besides, railway projects of Rs 12,286 crore, non-petroleum investment of Rs 15,413 crore, health and education projects of Rs 560 crore and tourism and heritage projects of Rs 200 crore have been obstructed by the state government, he alleged.

Most of the projects are facing land acquisition and clearances pending with the state government.

Pradhan said while 62 letters, including 44 since 2017, have been written by him to the Odisha Chief Minister on various issues, he was acknowledged on only one letter.

“Odisha has an insensitive and inefficient government, which is not cooperating the Central government for the development of the state,” he added.

He said Paradip could have been the next industrial hub like Jurong Island of Singapore but the state government is not extending its support to materialise the projects coming up in the area.

Speaking on the proposed 415 km of coastal highway in Odisha, the Minister said the Rs 10,000 crore project will provide vital commercial channels to five ports, IT hubs, electronic park, textile parks and sea food parks lying on the route.

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But, the land, environment and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances have been delayed by the Odisha government, he added.

“I moved from pillar to post in the state government to carry forward the coastal highway project. But, no progress has been made so far. After agreeing upon this, the state government has again asked for changes of alignment on Puri-Satapada and Konark-Astarang routes,” Pradhan said.

He alleged that the state government has sought for realignment on the coastal project to benefit certain ruling party leaders, who have land on the route.

“Railway projects of around 1,060 km worth Rs 12,286 crore has been stalled in Odisha. The railway is facing three major problems – land acquisition, forest clearance and law and order problem in the state,” he added. (IANS)