Palampur: NHAI to resume acquisition for road project; use old stretch, say locals : The Tribune India

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Palampur: NHAI to resume acquisition for road project; use old stretch, say locals

Palampur: NHAI to resume acquisition for road project; use old stretch, say locals

The Pathankot-Mandi National Highway . File Photo



Ravinder Sood

Palampur, March 29

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will resume the land acquisition process for a stretch of the Pathankot-Mandi four-lane project between Paror and Padhar in the next financial year. On the request of the state government, the land acquisition for this stretch was discontinued last year by the NHAI.

Earlier, it was planned to construct a two-lane highway on this section, but with the change of government in Himachal Pradesh last year, new Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu urged the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari for the construction four-lane highways instead of two lanes keeping in view the high volume of traffic, which was later accepted by the Government of India.

Strategic significance

  • On the request of the state government, the land acquisition for this stretch was discontinued last year by the NHAI
  • Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu urged the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari for the constriction four-lane highways instead of two lanes keeping in view the high volume of traffic, which was later accepted by the Government of India
  • Residents of many areas have already started agitation following the decision of NHAI not to use the old Pathankot-Mandi highway passing through various towns such as Palampur, Baijnath, Paprola, Chauntra and Jogindernagar, Gumma and Harabagh
  • The distance between Pathankot and Mandi would be reduced from 219 km to 171 km when the project will be completed
  • The Pathankot-Mandi highway is among one of the most significant roads of the country, as it links Pathankot with Leh via Manali
  • After the situation intensified in Ladakh, Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, this road has become more significant because the Army is using the road to carry essential supplies to Leh and other forward areas

A senior official of the NHAI said land would be acquired in the next financial year, and thereafter, the execution of the project would be taken up. The NHAI had already appointed a consultant for the preparation of a new project report for this section of the project.

“The NHAI has made various changes in its original detailed project report (DPR) for the 219-km strategic Pathankot-Mandi highway widening project that links Pathankot with Leh. The project is being executed in five phases between Pathankot and Mandi. The construction of the first and the second phase between the Chakki bridge and Rajol is already in progress and likely to be completed by the end of this year. The work for one more section between Thanpuri and Paror has also been awarded,” said the senior officer.

Similarly, beyond Padhar (Mandi district), the NHAI has awarded work for a stretch of 22 km between Padhar and Bijni for Rs 400 crore to a private company for the construction of a two-lane highway. The NHAI sources said the alignment of the 80-km highway between Paror and Mandi had been changed, keeping in view the difficult topography to avoid environmental degradation and cutting of hills, as the entire stretch was dotted with high mountains covered with dense forests and is prone to landslides during the monsoon season.

Meanwhile, residents of many areas have already started agitation following the decision of the NHAI not to use the old Pathankot-Mandi highway passing through various towns such as Palampur, Baijnath, Paprola, Chauntra and Jogindernagar, Gumma and Harabagh. The residents are demanding the construction of the four-lanes through the old highway. The distance between Pathankot and Mandi would also be reduced from 219 km to 171 km when the project would be completed.

The Pathankot-Mandi highway is among one of the most significant roads of the country, as it links Pathankot with Leh via Manali. After the situation intensified in Ladakh, Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, this road has become strategically more significant because the Army is using this road to carry essential supplies to Leh and other forward areas.

#Mandi #Palampur #Pathankot


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