By:Mohan Lal Verma
Central Government has taken concrete and visible steps towards strengthening the highways network in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which will contribute to enhance its connectivity and providing an impetus to its economy.
This was stated by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mr. J P Nadda,, in a press statement released for media today. He informed that in the year 2014, six new highways spanning a total length of 729 kilometers have been approved for the state. He also said that a high level meeting was held in April this year, which was chaired by him along with the state Chief Minister to deliberate upon and resolve pending and crucial issues in the roads and highways sector relating to land acquisition, environment, forest clearances and award of compensation.
Subsequent to this meeting, three new stretches have been notified as National Highways in June this year. These are the Una- Basoli-Salooni-Bhotard road of about 60 kilometers, Theog-Kothkali-Jubbad-Hatkoti road of about 80 kilometers and Kumarhatti-Sarahan-Banethi-Nahan road of about 75 kilometers.
The Union Health Minister also informed that the proposal has been forwarded by the Chief Minister and other leaders of the state for extension of the Theog-Kothkali-Jubbad-Hatkoti road to join Narkanda, and the Kumarhatti-Sarahan-Banethi-Nahan road beyond Kumarhati, which are under active consideration of the Ministry of Roads and Transport (MoRTH).
“I have been personally following up on this proposal of the state government” Mr Nadda stated. Minister also added that he has actively pursued with the MoRTH for taking up the repairs of Chandigarh-Manali National Highway-21,which has suffered extensive damages due to heavy vehicular traffic. The centre has agreed to the proposal of state government for the repair work, which is under the advanced stage of completion, he informed.
Mr Nadda also said that the centre has approved the proposal of the state government for repair work on crucial and major bridges on national highways in the state. These include the Chikni Khad bridge, Bathu Khad bridge, Palampur bypass with two HL bridges, Baner Khad bridge, and the Dehri Khad bridge.