Work on Rohtang tunnel likely to commence this year, PWD Minister

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Shimla, Mar 28 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Public Developments Work (PWD) Minister Gulab Singh Thakur today said the work for the ambitious Rs 1,700 crore Rohtang Tunnel project is likely to begin this financial year and expected to be completed by year 2014.

Replying to a question by Ram Lal Markanda (BJP) during the question hour in the House, he said Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has undertaken the construction work of this tunnel and the tendering process for the construction of tunnel was at an advanced stage.

Mr Thakur said the BRO has made a provision of Rs 22.88 crore in 2006-07, Rs 37.31 crore in 2007-08 and Rs 226.14 crore in 2008-09 for the construction of the tunnel.

The BRO opened the technical bids relating to the project on February two, 2008 and these were under evaluation, he added.

The contract for an amount of Rs 45 crore has been awarded for construction of two avalanche control structures on south portal side, he said, adding that at present the portals were approachable through double lane road.

The PWD Minister informed the House that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has accorded in principle approval for diversion of 75.0506 hectare land for tunnel, camp establishment, muck dumping and portals, besides a sum of Rs 8.44 crore has been deposited with forest authorities by the BRO.

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