Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today informed that the government of India has released funds for remaining work of four-laning of Kiratpur to Nerchowk national highway and the work would be completed soon that will facilitate the people of the state.

The Chief Minister said that Rs. 1455.73 crore has been tendered for balance work on four laning of Kiratpur to Nerchowk section of NH-21 greenfield alignment excluding Sundernagar bypass on Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM)

He said that national highway authority (NHAI) tendered the remaining work of the NH on Friday on Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) and the company that will construct national highway will also maintain it for 15 years. He said that the work on 29 kilometres has already been awarded and is under progress. 

The Chief Minister said the government of India had entrusted to the NHAI the development, maintenance and management of National Highway No.  21. The Authority had resolved to augment balance work for four laning of Kiratpur to Nerchowk section of NH-21 on design, build, operate and transfer basis. It has decided to carry out the bidding process for selection of a private entity as the bidder to whom the Project may be awarded.

The project would reduce the distance from Kiratpur to Nerchowk by about 47 km from 130 km to 84.38 km out of which 50 km would be green alignment which implies that the highway would snake through 50 km of virgin areas touched by road for the first time.

Kiratpur-Nerchowk National Highway is already behind schedule. It was expected to be completed by 2018, but due to topographical constraints, geological hazards and prolonged agitation by the affected people for higher compensation, the work on the project hasn’t picked up its pace and caused years of delay.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.