A presentation was made here today before Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur regarding proposed alignment on Shimla bypass four-laning project from Kaithlighat to Dhalli section and construction of highway tunnel parallel to the Dhalli tunnel under the Shimla Smart City Mission.
The Chief Minister was apprised that five tunnels were required to be constructed on the Kaithlighat to Dhalli section. The present proposal of twin tunnels/viaducts from Bhattakufar to Dhalli would completely bypass the urban area and bare minimum forest area/structures would be impacted during the construction of this four lane project.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the present proposal of this four-lane bypass must have negligible disturbance on the lives of the residents of the area. He expressed hope that separate twin tunnel proposed to connect the Sanjauli bypass and connectivity with the city roads would ensure better connectivity to the people of Shimla town.
He also felt the need for improvement of Dhalli junction and Dhalli bypass. He suggested that since the construction of tunnels involves huge muck generation, efforts must be made for creating facilities like stadium etc. on these dumping sites for best utilization of the land. He directed the officers of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure time bound completion of this project so that benefits could be derived in time.
Jai Ram Thakur said that Dhalli tunnel was over 175 years old and had outlived its design life. This tunnel has become a bottleneck as it connects upper Shimla area, Mandi, Kullu as well as Kinnuar districts. He said that the government has decided to construct a parallel two lane tunnel along this tunnel to ensure smooth plying of vehicles at an estimated cost of Rs. 55 crore and would be completed by the month of August next year.
The Chief Minister directed the officers to take into confidence all the stakeholders particularly the owners of the houses situated above the proposed tunnel. He said that meetings should be held with them assuring them that the project would cause no damage to their properties.
Principal Secretary, PWD Subhashish Panda assured the Chief Minister that all efforts would be made to ensure time bound completion of these projects.
Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretary J.C. Sharma, Special Secretary Arindam Chaudhary, Regional Officer, NHAI G.S Sangha and other senior officers attended the meeting.