Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that Chandigarh-Mandi-Manali National Highway-21 would be upgraded to four lane by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). He said that in the first phase NHAI would take the construction work on 118kms from Garamaura to Nerchowk. He said that to speed up the land acquisition process and to expedite the work a dedicated Revenue Officer would be posted.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was presiding over the review meeting of Public Works Department (PWD) here on Saturday.
He informed that a tunnel would also be constructed near Swarghat which would reduce the distance by about 35 kms from Kiratpur to Nerchowk and by about 60 kms upto Kullu. State Government would prepare pre-feasibility report for Chamunda-Holi Tunnel which would decrease the distance of Chamba by approximately 200 kms, he added.
Chief Minister said that a committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary comprising of Principal Secretary PWD and Forest would look into all matters of land acquisition so as to expedite the roads construction in the State. He said that roads were the life lines of Himachal Pradesh and state government had accorded top priority to this sector.
Singh said that about 380 road project cases were pending with the Forest Department for clearance. He directed the senior officers of Forest Department to visit the field so as to settle the cases at the earliest. He said that under PMGSY the details project reports (DPRs) of road construction for 485 habitations could not be prepared due to non-availability of private land and work on 21 roads sanctioned under PMGSY could not be started due to non-availability of private land. He directed the officers to sort out the matter.
He said that Rs.1082.55 crore was being spent on construction of roads and bridges in the state during current financial year.
Singh said that Black Topping on 1296 KM roads was completed up to December last against the target of 1611 KM and target would be achieved by March, 2013. He said that a total of 170 KM roads were constructed with plastic material. He directed the officers to continue with the construction of plastic roads so that environment conservation could be ensured.
Chief Minister while expressing concern over black spots directed the PWD Department to put up signage boards at all black spots so that people could be made aware about these spots. He said that 190 black spots were improved during the current fiscal year.
He said that 141 road project proposals worth Rs. 284 crore under World Bank funded PMGSY had been submitted to Government of India on February 15 for approval.
Chief Minister said that State had 1553 kms of road length under National Highways and eight more proposals for National Highways were send to GoI in January, 2013. He said that out of these eight, five proposals had been agreed in principal by GoI to be declared as National Highways.
Chief Secretary S Roy, Chief Secretary Principal Secretary to Chief Minister VC Pharka and senior officers of PWD were present on the occasion.