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National Waterway-5 progress reviewed

Bhubaneswar, May 2: Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) Chairman Nutan Guha Biswas jointly reviewed the progress of the National Waterway-5 at the State Secretariat here on Tuesday.

The Chief Secretary asked the district Collectors of the concerned districts to undertake a survey of the villages along the river banks and identify the points that are generally used by the people for crossing the river while IWAI Chairman assured of all assistance for setting up the ghats on those points for carrying forward the river dredging works. 

The issues relating to dredging of the river course, dumping of the dredged materials, transportation of the dredged materials, repair and maintenance of the embankment roads, protection of river banks, preparation of tender documents redesigning and development of the existing bridges coming on the waterway etc were discussed and resolved in the meeting.

It was decided to undertake the first phase of the project from Dhamara/Paradip to Pankapala through Mangalagadi. The distance from Dhamara to Mangalagadi is around 28 kms and distance from Paradip Port to Mangalagadi is around 67 kms. Distance from Mangalagadi to Pankapala is around 106 kms. There are 12 Railway, NHAI, and PWD bridges on this stretch which would be redesigned and customized for the waterway. The works in this stretch will be carried forward in close cooperation between State and Central agencies. A SPV has been formed for the purpose involving Govt of Odisha, Paradeep Port Trust and Dhamara Port Trust. As per preliminary estimates, an amount of Rs 1243 crore will be invested in the project in coming four years.

Available data show, the proposed waterway consists of rivers like Bramhani, Kharsua, Kani, Dhamara, Mantei, Mahanadi delta, and East coast canal spread over the States of Odisha and West Bengal. It stretches over 588 kms out of which 492 kms are in Odisha and the rest 91 kms are in West Bengal. The waterway has been designed to provide connectivity between Paradep Dhamara ports, Kalinganagar Industrial cluster and Mahanadi coal field.   

Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary Commerce and Transport Sanjaya Rastogi, Principal Secretary Water Resources Pradeep Kumar Jena, Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Dr Chanda Sekhar Kumar, Secretary Energy Hemant Kumar Sharma, Special Secretary Commerce and Transport Manoj Kumar Mishra along with senior officers from NHAI, Railways, Port Trusts, IWAI and Collector Kendrapara participated in deliberations.

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