Gadkari Visits Flood Ravaged Areas Of Kullu – Manali

Manali: Federal Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today visited the flood-affected areas of Kullu and Manali and took stock of the damaged Kullu-Manali highway where many kilometers of the road and several critical bridges has been washed away in the recent flooding when River Beas was in a spate.

Official estimates put the damage to road infrastructure between Rs 1,800 to 2,000 crore.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari visiting the flood damaged Kullu – Manali highway

During the visit Gadkari spoke to the media at Nagger. He said that 68 tunnels were being constructed in Himachal Pradesh at a cost of Rs. 12,500 Crore. The repair work of Kiratpur-Manali four-lane will be completed in the coming two to three months and the highway will be inaugurated soon.

Gadkari said that Rs. 400 crore would be released by the Union Government under Central Road & Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) for undertaking repair and restoration works on war footing. The NHAI will also bear the cost of repairing the link roads up to one kilometer along the National Highways in apple belts, he added.

He further said that a sum of Rs. 250 crore had been sanctioned for Bijli Mahadev Ropeway, the construction of which will commence soon. He said that approval has been given to Shahpur-Sihunta road to be built with an outlay of Rs. 52 crores under CRIF and Rangas-Mehre via Bagchal road would also be constructed incurring an expenditure Rs. 49 crores.

He said that the huge portions of National Highways and other roads have been swept by the furious flow of the river and a technical team has been constituted to study probable causes and take measures to prevent such occurrences in the future. The team will visit the flood hit areas in three to four days to assess and take stock of the situation.

Gadkari said that due to the accumulation of muck in the river bed, the river changed its course. Adaptive measures will be taken to construct a concrete wall or channelize river beds wherever required. He also sought cooperation of the State Government in this direction.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari interacting with Chief Minister Sukhu regarding the damage done to road infrastructure due to the unprecedented rains

He said that the Union Ministry will bear whatever money is to be incurred on the repair and restoration of roads under NHAI. He also stated that falling stones and boulders from the mountains was rather common in hilly regions, always posing threat to the commuters and to address the issue a comprehensive study would be conducted and thereafter recommendations would be shared with the State Government.

Gadkari assured that the Central Government will extend all possible help to the affected. He said that people have suffered immensely and the situation was even worse than they would have imagined otherwise. There has been unprecedented damage to the roads, bridges and private property due to flash floods, landslides and cloudbursts triggered by heavy rains.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu while addressing the media said that it was for the first time in the history of Himachal that a disaster of such high magnitude had hit the State. Resources of the State were limited, he said, and asked the Union Government to extend help to Himachal generously at the earliest to aid relief and restoration efforts.

The torrential rains from 7th to 11th July this year have caused extensive damage to roads and bridges at numerous places in the State, besides public and individual property.

The Chief Minister also appealed to the Leader of Opposition, Jai Ram Thakur to extend his wholehearted support in the hour of crisis and stand jointly to address

Public Works Minister, Vikramaditya Singh, Leader of Opposition, Jairam Thakur, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Sunder Singh Thakur, MLAs, Ravi Thakur, Bhuvaneshwar Gaur, Surender Shourie, Lokender Kumar, Vinod Kumar, Puran Chand Thakur, Deputy Commissioner, Ashutosh Garg and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion amongst other.

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