Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal reviews the progress of the National Highway Four Laning Projects on National Highway No. 21 and 22 and directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to speed up the work of four-laning road projects in the State and complete these within the allotted time frame.

Chief Minister said that the Gara-Moura to Manali road project needed to be accorded priority keeping in view its strategic importance as well as the huge rush of the tourists visiting world famous Kullu-Manali round the year. He said that the work on 1.7 kms., long tunnel project connecting Kainchi Ka More with Ferry Site near Neoni Chowk needed to be started early so that by the time approach roads on either side of the tunnel were completed the tunnel project was also ready for movement of vehicles. He said that the proposed tunnel would reduce distance by about 12 kms, besides decongesting the existing road between Nauni and Gara Moura. He said that new alignment between Neoni Chowk to Sunder Nagar Bye-pass would be 39 kms and total length of new alignment between Gara Moura to Sundernagar would be 51 kms compared to existing 88 kms., length of road thereby reducing the distance between both the destination, by 37 kms.

Prof. Dhumal said that the new alignment would bye-pass Bilaspur town, Sundernagar Town, Ner Chowk and Mandi towns towards Manali. He said that one more tunnel had been proposed at Mandi to bye-pass the town. He directed the NHAI to ensure that minimum of cultivable land was acquired for the project with minimum displacement of the families. He said that efforts needed to be made not to demolish the existing structures on either side of the road. He also directed them to ensure that best and attractive relief and rehabilitation package was provided to the people providing their land for the project. He advised the authorities to explore possibilities of constructing maximum tunnels which would not only reduce the distance but also save on acquisition of land. He said that Kiratpur-Manali highway was strategically important since the road further connects with Leh which was being maintained by Border Roads Organisation, beyond Manali. He said that maximum paraphernalia of the armed forces was being transported during open season through the road, hence the quality of the road needed to be of high degree.

Chief Minister directed the NHAI to complete four-laning of Parwanoo-Solan National Highway Project expeditiously to facilitate the movement of traffic between both the destinations. He said that the Zirakpur-Parwanoo stretch of the road needed to be completed by September this year while onward work undertaken in a time bound manner. He further directed the authorities to ensure that strict vigilance needed to observed over the encroachers on the National and state highways and all such encroachments were to be removed.

Public Works Minister Gulab Singh Thakur said that regular monitoring of the progress on both the National highways was being carried out and all assistance was being extended to the NHAI for early execution of the projects. He added that all issues pertaining to land acquisitions etc. were being resolved amicably.

Health Minister Dr. Rajiv Bindal advised the authorities to avoid demolition of structures on Parwanoo-Solan road project since there were large numbers of structures on either side of the proposed highway. He said that tunneling in such areas would be best alternate.

Earlier Principal Secretary PWD Dr.P.C.Kapoor details the status of various road projects to the Chief Minister and his colleagues. He informed that detailed project report of six more roads had been prepared and would soon be posed for funding to the Government of India.

Education Minister Ishwar Dass Dhiman, Anil Sharma, Sukhvinder Sukhu, Rajesh Dharmani, Engineer-in Chief, HPPWD N.L.Sharma, V.K.Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, NH, Col. Kamlender Singh, SLO, R.L. Kaundal, General Manager, NHAI, Satish Kaul, Project Director, B.K. Banati, Sandeep Bhattacharjee and other senior officers were present in the meeting.