Shimla: The date for the inauguration of the National Highway being converted into a four-lane has been fixed. Two phases of the 191-km four-laning between Kiratpur-Manali, which is being built in six phases, will start next month.
Among these, NHAI has first prepared for the inauguration of the Sundernagar bypass, while after this the section from Kiratpur to Nerchowk will be opened for traffic by the end of June. However, due to bad weather, NHAI has suffered a lot.
The work could not be completed due to rains for most of the time in April and May. In some places, debris from raw soil reached the National Highway. Despite all these difficulties, NHAI has decided to inaugurate both stretches between June 15 and 30.
After the commencement of traffic on this route, there will be a difference of about 37 km in the distance from Kiratpur to Nerchowk. This distance will be reduced to 77 km.
It may be noted that five tunnels and 22 major bridges have been constructed in this four-lane being constructed between Kiratpur to Nerchowk.
NHAI will also start trials on this route soon. After this, the four-lane will be opened for traffic. At present, NHAI is engaged in final preparations for the route.
Four toll plazas will also be set up on this National Highway. Talking about the Kiratpur-Manali National Highway, its work is to be completed in six phases.
Out of this, the portion from Takoli to Kullu and from Kullu to Manali has been completed. NHAI has also installed a toll here, while the construction work is going on from Nerchowk to Pandoh and from Pandoh to Takoli.
Both these parts are likely to be completed by March next year. NHAI has fixed the deadline for the inauguration of Kiratpur to Nerchowk by the end of June.
Sundernagar bypass has also been included in this. On the other hand, NHAI Regional Officer Abdul Basit said that the work has been affected due to bad weather, but NHAI has handled the situation and ordered the concerned company to complete all the remaining work in the month of June.
He said that after the completion of the construction of the four-lane, the journey of the people would be quick and safe. NHAI will complete the work of converting the National Highway into a four-lane on time. (hdm)
Seven National Highways in Line for forest clearance
Seven National Highway packages are currently in the queue for approval in Himachal. Forest clearance has not been received for these packages.
NHAI started sending National Highways for forest clearance approval in October. Eight National Highway proposals were sent till December.
Out of these, only one National Highway has been approved for four-laning, while seven others are still awaiting approval. Four-laning has been approved from Kanthlighat to Shakral on the Kalka-Shimla National Highway.
The State Government has also constituted a committee under the supervision of the DC and Divisional Forest Officer to expedite the Forest Clearance cases. After this, it is likely that the forest clearance will be approved soon.