World Bank nod to double-lane road

The World Bank has given the go-ahead for the first phase of the Rs 1,150 crore road project under which 230 km of road length will be double-laned.A team of the bank carried out the technical and financial appraisal of the project in the past week and approved first phase of the project. Acquisition of land will be the responsibility of the state government. It will bear the cost of acquisition and rehabilitation o f those displaced in the process. Financial liability on the state on this account will come to Rs 250 crore. The bank will give a loan of Rs 900 crore for the double-laning of 420 km of road length.

In all six roads will be double-laned under the project. In the first phase the Una-Ner Chowk, the Mehatpur-Mubarakpur and the Theog-Rohru sections will be taken up. The Theog-Rohru section will also involve construction of a tunnel at Kharapathar for which a separate project report is being prepared by the Geo Consult, an Austrian engineering company.

The Himachal Pradesh Road and Other Infrastructure Development Corporation will be the nodal agency for the implementation of the project to be implemented in accordance with the international norms laid down by the bank. Contracts will be awarded through international competitive bidding. Each work will involve widening of 40 km to 50 km stretch of road and contract package will range between Rs 80 crore to Rs 100 crore.

Inviting of bids will start next month and works will be awarded by June. Deadline for the completion of the first phase is three years. In case a company fails to meet the target heavy penalties will be imposed. The contractors will have to maintain the roads for five years after the completion.

In the second phase widening of the Kumarhatti-Nahan, the Ghumarwin- Jogindernagar via Sarakaghat and the Hamirpur-Palampur via Sujanpur will be taken up. Project reports for these will be completed by the end of the year and works awarded next year. The project will be completed in five years.

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