SHIMLA: Chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Thursday that that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has agreed in principle for four-laning the road project from Shimla to Mataur amounting to Rs 10,000 crore and four-laning from Pathankot to Mandi to cost Rs 12,000 crore.
Besides, the NHAI will present a concept paper on how to minimize and prevent the landslides which occur due to expansion of roads in the state and will spend Rs 300 crore on the same.
Apropos to the discussion held with the Union road transport minister, Nitin Gadkari on the development of road infrastructure in the state during his recent visit to Delhi, the chief minister on Thursday took a review meeting with NHAI and discussed the progress made in this direction.
He said that strengthening road connectivity in the state was his priority and the NHAI should speed up the work on four-lane road projects being executed in the state. He said that the state government would provide full cooperation. He said that the government has simplified various procedures of forest and other clearances and have fixed a timeline for the completion of projects.
He said that due to better road connectivity, the footfall of tourists was likely to increase and will provide them with basic highway facilities. He said that the State Government has decided to develop Kangra as a tourism capital and the Pathankot-Mandi and Shimla-Mataur four-laning will prove beneficial from the point of tourism.
The detailed project reports of the Pathankot-Mandi four-laning road project should be prepared soon, except for the portion of the road of around 19 kilometers adjoining Mandi town, he said. Besides, the Chief Minister also instructed to prepare the DPR of Hamirpur bypass.
Sukhu said that the process to provide compensation for the land acquired for these projects has been expedited and necessary instructions have been issued to the concerned Deputy Commissioners in this regard. He also requested for cooperation for construction of ropeways, especially Himani Chamunda and Bijli Mahadev Ropeway.
He said that provision for charging stations at a reasonable distance for electric vehicles in these four-lane road projects should be ensured so that the State Government’s motto to completely launch electric vehicles in the state could be executed. Where-ever possible, the NHAI should assure the feasibility for tunneling to ease traffic congestion and save time of the commuters, he said.
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