Chief Minister today dedicated the Auckland tunnel to the commuters. This tunnel has reduced the distance between Victory Tunnel to Sanjauli by about 800 meters. The tunnel has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 5.5 crore besides a bridge on it has also been completed and total cost of both is Rs. 7.30 crore.

Addressing the dedication ceremony, Chief Minister congratulated the residents of Shimla town, especially those who commute by vehicles as they will take less time to reach Sanjauli via Lakkar Bazar. He said that the State Government had been endeavouring to reduce geographical and emotional distances by constructing tunnels in different parts of the State and carrying developmental activities uniformally, while paying special attention towards the development of tribal, backward and difficult areas. He said that Shimla happens to be an historic town which had its own identity the world over for being Summer Capital in erstwhile British regime and now for being not only the State Capital but also the popular tourist destination. He said that it was heartening to note that 1.5 crore tourists had visited Himachal Pradesh during preceding year which included the largest number of foreigners, 4.85 lakh, in any of the states in the country.

Chief Minister congratulated the Public Works Department and thanked Auckland House School Management and local people who had cooperated in carrying construction of tunnel and bridge in the area conveniently. He said that the bridge would also be completed on priority and dedicated to the people of Shimla in coming few months.

Suresh Bhardwaj, local MLA, welcomed the Chief Minister and congratulated him for creating history by opening the first vehicle tunnel in Shimla after independence which had been a long pending demand of the people. He said that adequate budgetary provisions had been made by State for completion of the project. He said that the tunnel would not only decongest the RKMV and Auckland School area but also facilitate the vehicle owners to save fuel due to curtailed distance.

Gulab Singh Thakur, PWD Minister, Virender Kashyap, MP Lok Sabha, Bimla Kashyap, MP Rajya Sabha, Veena Thakur, Chairperson, State Social Welfare Board, Sher Singh Chauhan, Chairman, Land Development Bank, Ganesh Datt, Vice Chairman, HIMUDA, Madhu Sood, Mayor, Municipal Corportion, Roopa Sharma, Vice President, State BJP Mahila Morcha, Gyan Chandel, Chairman, APMC, Rajesh Sharda, President, Shimla BJP Mandal, Shri Onkar Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, Sonal Agnihotri, Superintendent of Pollice, N.L.Sharma, Engineer-in-Chief, PWD, other senior officers and prominent people of the town were present on the occasion.