A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to lay the foundation stone of three national-highway projects in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on January 4 asked the Centre to improve four other highways in the same district.
In aÂ letter to Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Patnaik said the state was suffering a lot due to lack of timely maintenance, improvement, and widening of the existing highways.
The Jharpokharia-Keonjhar-Sambalpur NH-49 passing through the district is not in a traffic-worthy condition. The Hatgamharia-Benisagar, up to a junction with NH-49 near Singada has been declared in principle a national highway from February 17, 2016, but no improvement work has yet been started, Patnaik wrote.
The chief minister requested Gadkari to consider declaring four roads passing through the district as national highways.
Modi is scheduled to arrive at Baripada, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj, on January 5 to lay the foundation stone of three national highway projects and address a public meeting.
Sources in the Chief Minister's Office said although Patnaik is invited, he would not attend the programme. "The chief minister will remain present at a Puri programme and not attend the PM's programme," an official said.
Modi will inaugurate the Balasore-Haldia-Durgapur section of an LPG-pipeline project of Indian Oil and the Balasore multimodal logistics park. He will also unveil plaque to mark the commencement of work for the development and conservation of Rasika Ray temple at Haripurgarh.
The prime minister will lay the foundation stone for the four-laning of various national highway projects and inaugurate six passport seva kendras. He will also flag off the second passenger train from Tatanagar to Badampahar.