Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Pratap Sarangi has sought intervention of Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari for the expansion of Balasore-Kharagpur section of the NH-60 into six lanes.
In a letter, Sarangi said that the 120 km stretch from Balasore to Kharagpur has made the road journey hassle-free for the commuters, reducing the long circuitous route from Balasore via NH-16 by a huge margin by connecting the road traffic from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata.
This has been done in a web of interconnecting NHs- NH 16 (Bhubaneswar-Balasore), NH-16 (Balasore-Kharagpur) and again NH-16 (Kharagpur-Kolkata). The vital NH connectivity has spurred economic activities in Balasore and other cities in West Medinipur (West Bengal) besides creating a dependable road infrastructure to connect the two state capitals- Bhubaneswar and Kolkata, stated Sarangi.
However, the six-laning project of NH-60 was dropped in 2011-12 due to lack of requisite traffic flow. The situation has vastly changed during the last decade and today, the volume of traffic in the Balasore-Kharagpur section of the NH-60 meets the traffic benchmark, wrote Sarangi.
At present, the NH-16 between Bhubaneswar and Balasore (210 km) is already six lane. Similarly, the NH route between Kharagpur-Kolkata (135km) is also six lane while the intermediate patch of NH-60 (Balasore-Kharagpur section) is still four lane one.
This four-lane patch of the NH-60 has not been able to sustain the growing volume of traffic, leading to slowing down of traffic, frequent congestion and accidents.
“Considering the imperative need of hassle-free and seamless six-lane connectivity from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata, I request you to kindly consider expanding the four lane NH 60 into six lane for the benefit of public and for ushering in economic development of Eastern India,” concluded Sarangi.