Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has urged his cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari to expedite the expansion work of NH-55 (earlier called NH-44) in Odisha.
The National Highway expansion work is divided into two sections – Cuttack-Angul and Sambalpur-Angul.
Pradhan has written to Gadkari after receiving a petition from the villagers of Boinda in Angul district regarding the inordinate delay in expansion and improvement of the highway.
“In their petition, they have said the foundation of NH-55 was laid in December 2018 and it was decided to complete the work by September 2020. Further, they have said the expansion work of NH-55 has been entrusted to M/s Gayatri Projects Ltd. whose work is not up to the mark as the company doesn’t carry out the work properly causing road accidents regularly,” the Union Education Minister said in his letter.
Around 600 lives have been lost in several road accidents in this area during the last four years while construction of two bridges at Panimahar and Chandan Pokhiri has not yet been completed, he added.
Pradhan mentioned that the construction of seven elephant underpasses is also pending and the land compensation amount at the revised rate has not been paid to the land losers in many places.
“I take this opportunity to request you to look into the matter at your personal level for a favourable consideration of the above demand for well-being of people of this area,” he added.