In reply of a question raised by Rohru legislator Khushi Ram Balnatah about the Theog-Kotkhai-Rohru road stretch, Public Works Department Minister Gulab Singh Thakur has announced that the Himachal Pradesh government has cancelled Rs.228-crore contract with a Chinese firm Longjian Road and Bridge Company for delay in executing a World Bank-funded road widening project.

The PWD minister informed the state assembly that the work of Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road which was awarded to a Chinese company was terminated Aug 11. He added that the reasons for contract termination were inadequate funding of the project and non-mobilisation of resources by the Chinese company.

Gulab Singh said the contract for the construction of the 81-km-long road in Shimla district was awarded to the company through global bidding and was to be completed within 36 months. However, work was begun on June 5, 2008, but now it is in deplorable condition.

Though he defended the delay and said that pace of project work was hit in the initial stage as getting the land transferred and getting forest clearances took some time and later the work had come to a standstill (in 2009) when the Indian government cancelled visas for the company employees and most of its employees had to return to China.

He said the government gave three notices before terminating the contract through the consultant appointed by the World Bank. Minister claimed that to make the road motorable, the PWD spent Rs.2.5 crore in the past three-four months.