Shimla: Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal put forth a proposal for a six-lane expressway between Parwanno and Shimla, keeping in mind the increased traffic and future needs on the route.
Presiding over a review meet consisting of officials from the National Highway Authority (NHAI) and the state government the chief minister said that detailed project report for a six-lane expressed could be prepared.
He said the government was keen to start work on the four-laning of the 40.75 Km Parwanno â€“ Solan stretch of the highway. Work on the Solan â€“ Shimla stretch would be taken up in the next phase, he said. The four lane express way project between Parwanoo and Solan was likely to cost Rs 440.56 crore.
NHAI had proposed to construct the entire length of road as four-lane road but the state government was keen that the entire road be made into a six-lane one, said Dhumal.
Traffic pressure was mounting with every passing year, said Dhumal, and to meet the transport needs for the next fifty years it was essential to plan for it today. Vehicle movement on the existing highway from both ends was estimated to be around 23,000 per day which was projected to rise to about 66,500 by 2030. Such projections needs to be kept in mind while preparing a DPR for the expressway said Dhumal.
Roads remained the life line of connectivity for the hill capital, said the chief minister, as the Shimla-Kalka narrow gauge rail line was in the process of being declared a World Heritage rail track and the possibility of it being expanded into a broad gauge track was remote.
Planning and designing was required to be in consonance with the future demand of the area and required preparations made well in time to envision the additional land acquisition for the six lane express way, he said.
Public Works Minister Gulab Singh Thakur, said that spade work had been carried out for getting the project started early.
Dr. Rajeev Bindal, health minster, sought details of the habitations falling between Parwanoo and Shimla and urged authorities not to disturb the same in the process.
Ravi Dhingra, Chief Secretary said that the state had initially proposed the construction of six lane express way which was the need of the state keeping in view future growth requirements.
Balram Sharma, Secretary PWD, gave a detailed presentation about the departments preparedness to get the project executed.
PK Dass, General Manager, NHAI gave the presentation about the express way project and assured that necessary steps would be taken to make preparations for six lane road while initially constructing a four lane road.
Solan district legislators Hari Narayan Singh Saini, Smt. Vinod Chandel, Gobind Sharma and Dr. Rajeev Saijal, Principal secretary to the chief minister Bhim Sen, Director general of police Ashwani Kumar, special secretary PWD Mohan Chauhan, HPPWD engineer in chief BS Rajpal, Project director NHAI Col. K.P.Sharma, consultant NHAI Faquir Chand and other senior officers were present in the meeting.