Tribune News Service
Solan, November 8
The 965-metre one-way tunnel on the Barog bypass is likely to be made functional by the year-end as work to connect it to the highway near Kumarhatti is to be undertaken. This is the lone tunnel on the 39-km stretch of the Parwanoo-Solan highway which was being fourlaned since September 2015. It would reduce the distance from Shimla to Chandigarh by 3.5 km.
Private company GR Infraprojects, which was fourlaning the project, had to construct an additional 140-m tunnel to ensure that both ends meet. As per the initial design, this tunnel was supposed to be 825 m long but site specific issues prolonged its length. It had taken one year to carve out this tunnel which extended from 91 km milestone to 99 km on the Barog bypass and culminated near Hyundai showroom on the bypass.
Almost two more years were spent on its internal finishing where various safety measures along with additional protection work have been undertaken to ensure that there would be no water seepage, informed a project official Sushil Ahuja. Deputy Commissioner, Solan, KC Chaman, who convened a meeting of the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and GR Infraprojects, reviewed the progress of this project today. He directed the officials to make sure that the tunnel was functional by the year-end and also ensure that other issues like flyover construction were completed by March end next year.
With nearly 80 per cent of the work having been completed, the project staff was hopeful of completing the project next year. The work which began in September 2015 was slated to be completed in the stipulated 30-months period till March 2017. Additional time had been sought by the project staff as issue like a NGT ban and timely non-availability of land acted as major impediments for its smooth completion. Initially, total project cost was Rs 748 crore but the project staff sought additional funds from the NHAI for other issues which emerged during the course of the construction.
The project also involves construction of two railway over bridges at Sanawar and Barog bypass and a flyover at Kumarhatti, which will reduce the distance by three km. Realignment of about seven km of road is further supposed to reduce the length of the road to 39 km from the present 42 km.
80 per cent work completed
- With nearly 80 per cent of the work having been completed, the project staff are hopeful of completing the project by next year.
- The work, which began in September 2015, was slated to be completed in the stipulated 30-month period, but issues like NGT ban and non-availability of land acted as major impediments.
- The tunnel will reduce the distance from Shimla to Chandigarh by 3.5 km.
- Solan DC has directed officials to make sure that the tunnel is functional by year-end.
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