Odisha’s Rural Development Ministry to Construct 1,500 New Bridges in 5 Years

Bhubaneswar: The Rural Development Department of the Odisha government has unveiled its ambitious plans to enhance rural connectivity in the state. Under the Biju Setu Yojana (BSY), the department aims to construct 1,500 new bridges with a budget of Rs 6,000 crore over the next five years. Additionally, they plan to facilitate the construction of 15,000 kilometres of roads through the Mukhya Mantri Sadak Yojana, allocating Rs 12,000 crore for the purpose.

During a performance review meeting led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Rural Development Minister Preeti Ranjan Ghadai shared the department’s vision and roadmap. He emphasized the substantial increase in the department’s budget, rising 25 times from Rs 305 crore in 2000-2001 to Rs 7,500 crore in the year 2023-24. Currently, the department has completed the construction of 2,241 bridges under various schemes, while an additional 1,304 bridges are under construction.

Moreover, the department is responsible for maintaining 1,03,731 kilometres of roads, ensuring all-weather connectivity to 18,161 habitations. They have also focused on environmentally friendly practices by constructing over 10,000 kilometres of roads using green technology. Furthermore, the department has built 8,700 buildings, including colleges, schools, and multipurpose cyclone shelters, to enhance infrastructure in rural areas.

The BSY, originally committed to constructing 750 bridges according to the 2019-2024 election manifesto, has already completed 679 bridges, with plans to build 900 more by March 2024. Similarly, the department has surpassed its commitment of constructing 3,000 kilometres of roads under the Mukhya Mantri Sadak Yojana, having completed 6,247 kilometres. They aim to complete an additional 6,000 kilometres of roads by March 2024.

The Rural Development Department has received national-level recognition for its achievements in road construction length, utilization of green technology, and connecting previously inaccessible habitations. They have also implemented Work Automation and Management Information System (WAMIS) for efficient work automation and accounts management, setting an example for other engineering departments in the state.

The performance review meeting was attended by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Rural Development Minister Preeti Ranjan Ghadai, and Principal Secretary of the RD department, Sanjay Kumar Singh, among others. The occasion also featured a documentary highlighting the achievements of the Rural Development department.

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