Maintenance of Roads top Priority: Himachal Public Works Minister

Shimla:Thakur Gulab Singh, Public Works Minister said here today that repair and maintenance of all National Highways and State roads have been accorded priority by the State Government to facilitate the commuters, since the prolonged rainy season this year had caused heavy damages to the roads in the State. Thakur Gulab Singh said that repair and maintenance of Chandigarh-Manali National Highway had been also taken on war footing. He said that this road had been badly damaged during the monsoon. He said that report regarding damage amounting to Rs 21 crore has already been sent to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. He said that estimate for restoration of work was being prepared and would be submitted to the Central Ministry for approval.

. He said that patch work for repairing this National Highway has been completed to the extent of 90 per cent and the remaining work would be completed within fortnight

Public Works Minister said that portion of Chandigarh-Manali National Highway between Mandi and Pandoh falls under the sliding zone and the Department would under-take the restoration work of the sliding portion between 213/100 to 213/200 as soon as the estimate is sanctioned be the Central Ministry. He said that the State Government is maintaining the single-lane road of this portion from its own resources for smooth flow of vehicles.

Thakur Gulab Singh said that the up-gradation work of Mehatpur-Una-Amb road has been awarded to M/s. Longjian Roads and Bridge Company Ltd., China. He said that out of the 44.823 kms total stretch, about 28.500 kms. road length in full width and another about seven km. in single lane i.e. half width of road have been blacktopped. He said that the work of metalling/tarring of remaining 9.3 kms. was also in progress. He said that the metal base layers in different stretches were also being laid. He said that for reducing the ill-effects of dust on the balance non metalled road stretch, water was being sprinkled regularly. He said that the work of metalling and tarring of this road got affected for about four months due to prolonged rainy season. However, now every effort is being made to black top the remaining stretch on priority for convenience of general public, he added.

Public Works Minister said that though some inconvenience would be there due to the ongoing construction work on this busy road, but the Himachal Pradesh Road Infrastructure Development Corporation and consultants were taking all possible steps to minimize the inconvenience. He directed the authorities to complete metalling work of this road at the earliest and ensure quality work.

Thakur Gulab Singh said that the Company had started construction of 12 bridges on this road, out of which work on eight bridges have been started and work on remaining four bridges would also be started soon. He said that construction of four bridges was almost complete and these were likely to be opened for use by traffic soon.

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