Connecting Lives Through Road Infrastructure: Biju Expressway Ushering In A New Dawn Of Development In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: 21st century Odisha needs 21st century infrastructure. The best infrastructure has the potential to usher in accelerated growth of the state with impact on all sectors such as communication, agriculture, health, education and industry. A world class road infrastructure has the biggest potential to contribute to the development of the society. One of the important endeavuors of the Government of Odisha led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been to develop the road communication infrastructure of Odisha to the highest standards so that there is equitable development of all regions of the state. As part of its efforts to connect the South with the West, the Government of Odisha conceived the Biju Expressway that will be the main channel of growth in the 21st century.

A dream project of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, being implemented under the 5T Initiatives, the more than 500 kilometer four lane Biju Expressway from Rourkela in Sundargarh district to Ampani in Kalahandi district has been dedicated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of the birth anniversary of legendary leader Biju Patnaik.

The four lane international standard Biju Expressway has become a reality now and has already started contributing to the growth of the western Odisha.

A dream project of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Biju Expressway links North and South Odisha through western Odisha. This four lane super highway will connect the many interior pockets of Bargarh, Bolangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, and Nabarangpur leading to the industrial and agricultural transformation of western Odisha. The impact will also be on promoting access to best of the health and education for the common man.

The biggest road infrastructure project of Odisha – the Biju Expressway will also connect many border towns of South and Western Odisha like Chandli, Boriguma, Nabarangpur, Papadahandi, Ambapani, Dharmagarh, Sinapali, Bhella, Nuapada, Paikmal, Padmapur, Sohella, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundergarh, and Rourkela. As the Expressway of a total length of 656 Kilometres would pass through one of the most backward regions of the state, KBK region, it would help boost its economy. Besides boosting agriculture, trade and commerce, and social sector development, Biju Expressway would support the state’s initiatives in mainstreaming socially and economically backward people. The Biju Express will take care of the communication gap and synchronize the agricultural and industrial growth by providing Inter State connectivity for these areas.

While the Expressway will reduce travel time of cost for the people of Odisha, the trickle down impact will be on the peripheral development. Already, the government of Odisha has taken steps to develop the areas surrounding the Expressway as Economic Corridors. As part of this, Industrial Estates will be set up along the Economic Corridor. While many industries have shown their interest to set up their facilities along the highway, the focus will be on Industrial estates along Khariar Junagarh and Padampur for example.

With the first phase of the Biju Expressway being completed, next comes the second phase that will connect Berhampur with Jeypore. The second phase four-lane connectivity will be provided from Berhampur in Ganjam district to Jeypore in Koraput district for about 335 km with a cost of about Rs.6100 crore, mostly in greenfield under Biju Expressway-II. The Biju Expressway-II project will reduce the travel time between the two cities from 10 hours to 5 hours and provide huge potential for economic growth and employment opportunities.

The transport sector is the harbinger of growth, prosperity and empowerment of the people of the State.

Road infrastructure development is a major thrust area for the government. It has been the endeavor of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to ensure that quality connectivity is available to every corner of the State.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been focusing on the equitable development of all regions of Odisha. His continuous visits to various districts of Western Odisha regularly and review the development of the various infrastructure projects is a testimony to his commitment to the people of the region. He has also left no stone unturned to develop the southern regions including that of Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri.

The second phase of the Biju Expressway will open up a new world of opportunities for development of Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Kandhamal and Koraput. People will have seamless travel experience on the world-class roads and the peripheral areas will also see accelerated industrial growth. Above all, the Biju Expressway will fill the gap left void because of the poor railway network in the state.

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