Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the meeting regarding land acquisition of National Highways with the senior officers of State Government and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) directed them to expedite process of land acquisition so that work on major road projects being executed by the NHAI could be taken in hand soon. Chief Minister directed the NHAI authorities to set deadlines for completion of projects being executed by them and to work with greater zeal to meet the deadline. He said the State Government was also planning to urge the Prime Minister to inaugurate and lay foundation stones of a few NHAI projects for the State any time during the mid of this year. He also directed the NHAI authorities to ensure proper maintenance of national highways and four-lane projects being executed in the State so that commuters do not face any inconvenience.
Jai Ram Thakur said that presently, the State has about 40,000 kms road length, but being a hilly State a lot more needs to be done. He said that the present State Government connected 321 villages with roads as compared to 261 roads connected during the tenure of the Congress Government. He said that 240 bridges and 3108 kms roads were connected during the last four years.He said that being a hilly State, roads were the only mode of transportation in the State. He said that for tourism promotion good roads were most important as Himachal was a tourist State and better roads in the State, would go a long way in tourism promotion. He directed the NHAI authorities to ensure completion of 85 Kilometers Hanogi-Kullu-Manali road by end of July this year. He said that being constructed at a cost of Rs. 4540 crore this would give big boost to tourism development in the area.
Chief Minister said that presently NHAI was executing 104 kms Parwanoo-Solan-Kaithlighat-Shimla bypass road, 226 kms Kiratpur-Nerchowk-Mandi-Kullu-Manali road, 223 kms Shimla-Bilaspur-Hamirpur-Mataur road and 17 kms Pinjore-Baddi-Nalagarh road. He directed the NHAI authorities to ensure that these projects meet the deadline as they were very important from State point of view. He said that all these projects on completion would save 131 kms and save 11 hour travelling distance.He said that Union Minister of Surface Transport and Highways has dedicated four lane Parwanoo-Solan section of NH-22 (new NH-05) having length of 39.14 kilometers constructed at a cost of Rs. 1303 crore. Principal Secretary Revenue Onkar Sharma, Principal Secretary PWD Subashish Panda and representatives of NHAI attended the meeting.