Koraput: At least 245 km of the existing in Koraput and Nabarangpur districts will be developed into four lanes with state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) under Bharatmala Pariyojana, a scheme sponsored by the Centre meant to connect Raipur in Chhattisgarh to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Official sources said the Odisha section of the road starts from Odisha-Chhattisgarh border near Kundei in Nabarangpur district and ends near Ondarangi village in Koraput district on the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border. While the NHAI and ministry of road transport and highways (MORTH) had appointed a private engineering consultant to prepare the detail project report , the MORTH has categorised the project as high priority.

Recently, the NHAI has written to the Koraput administration to nominate tehsildars as competent authority for land acquisition required for the project in accordance with National Highway Act, 1956.

“The road will passes through Borigumma, Jeypore, Dasmantpur, Koraput, Semiliguda and Pottangi tehsils in the district and once the land acquisition officials are appointed, then the required land as per the DPR will be acquired for the project,” said Jeevananda Naik, executive engineer, national highway, Koraput division.

According to the officer, the existing NH-26 which passes through Koraput and Nabarangpur districts will be converted into four-lane road under the project and it will consist of 10 metre wide road on either side with a road divider of around 1.5 metres width. The road will also have provisions like truck parking terminus and wayside amenities.

With an increase in population and traffic, the NH-26 is always congested in areas like Sunabeda, Koraput and Jeypore giving rise to frequent jams and accidents. The four-lane road will not only facilitate free flow of vehicles but also beautify and enhance the economy of the area, said Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati. Efforts should be made to ensure that the project starts at the earliest, he added. According to the NHAI, over 5,000 vehicles ply on NH-26 passing through Koraput.

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