The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday approved 130 Km long Jeypore-Malkangiri New Line project at a completion cost of Rs 2676.11 crore.

The line is likely to be completed by 2021-22. The project will cover the districts of Koraput and Malkangiri districts which are naxal affected. Malkangiri district in particular will get its first rail connectivity.

It is the epicentre of left wing extremism in Odisha. These areas are also amongst the 115 aspirational districts, said a release issued by the central government.

The proposed new line will connect Malkangiri, Boipariguda, Tanginiguda, Mathili, Pondripani Road and other major towns to Jeypore station on the existing Kottavalasa- Kirandul line.

Further, connectivity to important towns viz. Koraput, Jeypore, Jagdalpur, Dantewara will improve. It will also result in short lead to many other places of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

The project is expected to generate direct employment during construction of about 31.2 lakh mandays, said the release. East Coast Railway authorities here described it as a historic decision and pointed out that districts like Malkangiri, hitherto untouched by railway network, will benefit immensely.