The government today approved four-laning of a road stretch in Himachal Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 2,776-crore as part of its efforts to provide all-weather connectivity to key tourist places like Kullu and Manali and further up to Leh. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the four-laning of Pandoh Bypass to Takoli section of National Highway (NH)-21 in Himachal Pradesh, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.
"This is a sub-project of the National Highways Authority of India’s larger project for four laning of NH-21 from Kiratpur in Punjab to Manali in Himachal Pradesh," it said.
The other four sub–projects of this project include Kiratpur-Nerchowk, Nerchowk-Pandoh, Takoli-Kullu and Kullu- Manali. Work on three of the sub-projects is already going on, and is likely to start shortly for the fourth sub-project, it said.
"Completion of all five sub-projects will provide all weather connectivity to important tourist destinations like Kullu and Manali and further up to Leh," the ministry added.
The cost of the Pandoh-Takoli sub-project approved today is estimated to be Rs 2,775.93 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre- construction activities. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 19 km.
This work will be done under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase IV B on Hybrid Annuity Mode.
The four-laning of NH 21 from Kiratpur to Manali will help in reduction in accidents and saving of precious human lives due to construction of tunnels in the accident prone land slide areas, the ministry said.
The distance from Kiratpur to Manali will get reduced by 38 km, resulting in a time saving of approximately three hours.
The project will generate huge employment to locals residing along the project length which will also help them in getting in job opportunities in future. It has been estimated that a total number of 4,076 man-days are required for construction of one kilometre of highway.
As such, employment potential of 77,000 (approximately) man-days will be generated locally during the construction period of the Pandoh-Takoli section alone. The completion of the project will bring all round development and prosperity in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
NHAI is also executing the four-laning of NH-22 from Parwanoo to Shimla (including Shimla Bypass). The length of this project is 89.71 km and the cost is Rs 2739 crore. The work has already been started in the stretch from Parwanoo to Solan. The project construction from Solan to Shimla is likely to commence shortly, it added.