Dharamshala: In the wake of the stand-of with China along the Indo-Tibet border in Ladhak, the importance of an alternate access to the region has gained much urgency for which inauguration of the 9 km long Rohtang Tunnel in Kullu valley is expected to be held in the last week of September.
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on his arrival here from Shimla told reporters that providing all weather connectivity to Lahaul valley was a dream project of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister. “Finally the 9 km long Rohtang Tunnel is expected to be inaugurated in the last week of September,” he said. “It will be inaugurated by PM Narender Modi ji,” he added .
Emphasising the importance of the project which from security and strategic point of views, the chief minister informed that on being completed the tunnel would cost around Rs 3200 crores.
The chief minister further said that to improve access in the border areas, the state government was cooperating with ITBP to develop helipads in the areas which are bordering China. Thakur said that the state government has sent a team of 5 police commandants’ in bordering areas of Kinour and Lahoul Spiti districts.
These officers met a wide range of people there, who have expressed deep patriotism to the country and there was no question of their migration from the border areas. “We have identified some of their issues related to development works and we are working on them.” said Thakur.
Responding to a question about throwing open the many important temples, the chief minister said , “at one point the state government had decided to open the temples for public, but seeing the rise in numbers of Corona patients in India, and in Himachal, and also fearing more infectious diseases in rainy season, we have decided that the temples shall remain close till at least the end of this month.”
He said if the number of corona patients comes under control, we will reconsider opening of worship places.
Replying to another question Thakur said that the government desires to conduct Panchayat elections on time.
Earlier on arrival at Gaggal Airport in Kangra for a three days visit to the district, the chief minister was given a rousing welcome.