Feasibility report of tunnel projects on anvil: Gulab Singh

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Shimla, May 19 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh PWD Minister Gulab Singh today said the state government would send a detailed and consolidated feasibility report for execution of three tunnel projects being prepared by State Electricity Board for funding by World Bank for better road connectivity.

Presiding over a meeting of senior officers of PWD here, he said that the construction of a three-km-long tunnel below Bhubujot situated in the Lag-valley wildlife sanctuary, was proposed which would connect Jogindernagar Sub Division with the Kullu valley through Ghatasani-Barot- Sidhwani road.

Mr Singh said the proposed road of Rs 70 crore estimated cost would shorten the distance by 55 kms from Jogindernagar to Kullu and added that this road would provide easy access to Kullu and help in developing Lag valley to come on international tourism map.

The Public Works Minister said the second proposed tunnel was on Dhaneta-Bangana road which would go a long way in systematising and ensuring smooth flow of traffic in the day by day increasing traffic flow.

Whereas the third tunnel was proposed for construction below Uttrala-Sarsi-Holi Pass in Chamba district. He said that HPSEB had been directed to prepare the pre-feasibility report on these three projects at the earliest for submission to World Bank, he said.

Mr Thakur said that it would be ensured that environmental and ecological balance is maintained during the construction of these three tunnels adding that no such project would be implemented at the cost of environment.

The Horticulture wing of PWD would be revamped so that all the National, State Highways and other roads in the state were beautified by planting flowers and ornamental plants along them, he said.

He stated that likewise pre-feasibility reports had already been received for construction of four tunnels for Shimla municipality aimed at containing the ever-increasing traffic problems in the capital town.

The Minister disclosed that these included 690 metre tunnel from Lift to Lakkar Bazar at an estimated cost of Rs 45 crore, 1140 metre-long-tunnel from Lift to HIMFED Petrol Pump costing about Rs 70 crore, 860 metre-long-tunnel from HIMFED Petrol Pump to IGMC costing about Rs 59 crore whereas the fourth tunnel of 150 metre length would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 119 crore from Sanjauli to Dhalli.

A sum of Rs 5.38 crore was being spent on the widening of 72 metre-long Auckland tunnel which would be completed by December this year, he added.

UNI AS PS BK1955

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