15 Chinese involved in Himachal road projects get visas



Shimla: Fifteen Chinese personnel working with M/s Long Jian Road and M/s Bridge Company of China and engaged in the construction of two roads in Himachal Pradesh, have got extension of their visas, as earlier they were unable to execute the projects due to non-extension of their business visas following change in India’s visa policy.

Responding to a query raised by Rakesh Verma (Ind-Theog) during the Question Hour in the state assembly today, public works minister Gulab Singh Thakur said that seven Chinese personnel of M/s Long Jian Road Company and eight Chinese working with M/s. Bridge Company have been granted required visas to complete their work. He said the widening of 81-km-long Theog-Hatkoti road was scheduled to complete within 36 months but was delayed due to cancellation of business visas of 90 Chinese personnel by the ministry of home affairs recently.

He said that after the intervention of state government, official were sent to facilitate the visas and now 15 Chinese people, who are engaging 90 local labourers here, are executing work on the Theog-Hatkoti and Una-Amb-Mehatpur roads. Satisfying members’ concern over delay in construction of the roads, Thakur assured that the state government would press upon the Chinese firms to facilitate the widening work of Theog-Hatkoti road well before the next apple season.
According to the new visa policy, the Chinese firms can now employ not more than one percent of their skilled technicians from outside India. The Theog-Hatkoti road project was sanctioned in June 2008 with a target to complete it by 2010 but with the work having come to a standstill for the past seven months, it is nowhere near completion.

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