A proposal to dig the 3.2-km Bhubu Jot tunnel between Jogindernagar in Mandi district and Kullu through the Lug valley is still to see the light of the day.
Former Chief Minister PK Dhumal had announced its construction in 2009. Its tentative cost was approximately Rs 500 crore. The contract for the preparation of feasibility study and the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the tunnel was awarded in 2011 to Bernard Ingenieure of Austria. Due to a difficult terrain and tough approach to the area, the study was delayed and the project has been lingering since then.
Bhubu Jot remains covered with heavy snow during winter and the proposed tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to commuters, especially Army vehicles.
Mandi MP Ram Swaroop Sharma had taken up the matter with the Union Surface and Transport Ministry in 2015 but nothing has been done so far. The NHAI authorities stated that a proposal had been sent to the ministry in 2018 and DPR would be prepared after the approval was received from the ministry. Both Congress and BJP governments in the state had maintained that the work on the tunnel would commence soon, but no progress has been made. There is discontent among the masses due to delay in the construction of the tunnel. They alleged that various leaders raised the issue only during elections to get votes.
Naveen, a resident of Kullu, said its construction would not only reduce the distance between Kullu and Jogindernagar, but also boost the tourism in the Lug Valley and other areas. He said the tunnel would also provide a better alternative to the Army to reach border areas of Ladakh.
To cut Pathankot-Manali distance by 63 km
- The tunnel is strategically important as it will reduce the distance from Pathankot to Manali by around 63 km and lessen the travel time by 2 hours
- Bhubu Jot remains covered with heavy snow during winter and the proposed tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to commuters, especially Army vehicles
- Former CM PK Dhumal had announced its construction in 2009
Source : The Tribune