Forty projects involving an investment of over Rs 92,000 crore in and around Paradip to realise the port based development model were discussed at a high level meeting at Delhi informed Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

The meeting convened by Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and attended by Pradhan as well as Ms Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing. World class infrastructure and business ecosystem at Paradip will be put in place, a 400 bed hospital, eight-lane roads were other projects that will be taken up.

Paradip Port is one of the three ports of the country that handle cargo of over 100 million tonnes. Pradhan said he also raised the need for an Airport. “An amount of Rs 16.637 crore will be spent on seven different projects meant for modernization of Paradip Port.

Similarly, a sum of Rs 13.690 crore will be invested on another nine developmental projects. Besides, an amount of Rs 55.550 crore will be invested on development of eight port-based industrialisation projects and an estimated Rs 4.793 crore towards 10 projects in the coastal areas,” he added.

8-laning of NH 53 from Chandikhole to Paradip and further extension to Joda area, 4-laning of SH12 from Paradip to Cuttack and conversion to NH53A, construction of Digha- Gopalpur coastal highway via Paradip, early completion of Haridaspur-Paradiprailway line, 80 MLD Tarpurpipeline project, figured in the discussions said a release issued by Pradhan’s office.

Mr Gadkari sought the cooperation of NHAI, RVNL, AAI, IOCL. The capacity expansion of Paradip Port was also discussed. It included new coal berth, iron berth, expansion of the inner harbour etc.

Strangely there was no representative from Odisha state government despite invitation, informed the release. Reacting to the comment, ruling BJD circles here said such mega announcements are a practice of the BJP leaders.

It has been four years since Mr Gadkari announced the hospital, colony, roads and other infrastructure projects at Paradip, none of it has materialised.

Similarly, Gadkari’s promise for the second bridge over Brahmani in Rourkela ( a pledge of PM Modi) four years ago is yet to see the light of the day as is the super speciality hospital in Rourkela.

The BJP is like showbiz, big mega announcements and slogans without any substance or progress at the ground level. Now at the end of its term, the BJP led central government is repeating its old announcements and projecting it as new by using a few new phrases, charged the BJD circles.