Himachal to get tough for removing roadside encroachments – Gulab Singh

Shimla: To prevent encroachments on public roads, the government would enforce the Roadside Act sternly, and to upgrade the network, 3 state roads are proposed for approval as National Highways where as the government is to spend Rs 1280 Cr in the current year for construction and maintenance of roadways.

Speaking to the media at a ‘meet the press’ program, Gulab Singh Thakur, the PWD minister said that administrative authorities had been asked to deal firmly with road encroachments, wherever noticed.

“Roads are being constructed at a great cost and we will not allow their degradation by encroachments or otherwise by vested interests,” the minister said in response to a question.

He said that of the Rs 1280 Cr being spent in the current financial, Rs 479.6 Cr was from the states resources, Rs 400 Cr from PMGSY funds and Rs 400 Cr under a World Bank road up-gradation project.

The department has a target of constructing 1010 Km new roads in 2009-10, providing cross drainage in 2294 Kms and tarring 1214 Km of roads.

“In the first quarter, 142 Kms of new roads has been constructed, cross-drainage provided in 200 Km and 486 Kms of road stands tarred,” said Gulab Singh. The government has a target of providing road connectivity to 335 villages in the current year and to all villages with a population of 250 by 2012, he added.

Up-grading of 232 Km of roads at a cost of Rs 591 crore was in progress, he said.

Counting the governments achievements, the minister said that two roads – Nagrota, Ranital, Dehra, & Mubarkpur of 91 Kms and Paonta,Rajban,Shillai,Menaues & Hatkoti of 160 Kms had been got approved as national highways from the central government.

Three others roads, – Taradevi, Jubbarhatti, Kunihar, Ramshehar, Nalagarh & Ghanouli of 106 Km length, Sainj, Luri, Banjar, Aut & Bagitar road of 97 Km and Chandigarh Baddi (Punjab portion) Nalagarh, Ramshehar, Arki and Shalaghat of 84 Km have been proposed for approval as national highways before the central ministry, he said.

To increase shelf life of roads, reduce congestion and shorten distances, tunnelling for road projects would be resorted to, the minister said. He counted that pre-feasibility reports for 5 tunnels in Shimla costing Rs 310 Cr had been done, a pre-feasibility report for Khara-Pattar tunnel had been completed, and Swarghat-Bilaspur bypass through Jagat Khana tunnel is proposed as a private public partnership project.

Major bridges to be constructed include Bagchal, Chamba Pattan and Harsipatten. Work on the important Chakki Bridge was likely to be completed by April.

To remove congestion bypass for Theog, Solan Rajagarh, and Sundernagar were being considered. Work on Palampur, Kufri and Hamirpur bypass roads was in progress.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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