August 13, 2008 :State Government has envisioned future strategy to connect every connectable village with motorable road by year 2020, habitations with population above 250 by year 2012 and other high density villages with 500 plus population by the end of current financial year.
This was revealed by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, in the review meeting of the Public Works Department held here under his Chairmanship, today. He said that 305 more villages would be added to the existing network of 8,115 villages connected with motorable road during current financial year and target of connecting all 17,449 villages with motorable road would be achieved by the year 2020 positively.
Chief Minister said that the road connectivity formed top priority in the agenda of the government and the existing network of 29,525 kms. roads and 1,546 bridges was catering to the road communication network created in the state so far. He said that the state government had agreed in principle to fund six vital tunnel links measuring 4815 meters and estimated to cost Rs. 479.20 crore, which included Lakkar Bazar, Lift to HIMFED petrol pump, St. Bede’s to IGMC, Sanjauli-Dhalli, Ranital Tunnel, Kainchi More to Mela village below Naina Devi temple. He said that new tunnels had been proposed for construction on Kullu-Bhuboo Jot – Ghatasani road, Bangana-Dhaneta road, Holi-Utrala where pre-feasibility report was being prepared in association with the engineers of HP State Electricity Board.
Prof. Dhumal said that that the state had 9 national highways measured at 1,260 kms. in the state. He said that the Planning Commission of India had agreed in principle to declare Nagrota-Ranital-Dehra-Mubarakpur; Paonta – Rajban – Shillai – Meenus – Hatkoti; roads as new national highways while proposal had also been sent for Taradevi- Jubbarhatti-Kunihar-Ramshehar- Nalagarh- Ghanouli; Sainj- Luhari- Banjar- Aut- Bagitar and Chandigarh- Baddi-Nalagarh-Ramshehar-Arki-Shalaghat roads for declaration as additional national highways and efforts were afoot to add to the list Ghumarwin- Sarkaghat- Binate; Bharmour- Chamba- Dalhousie- Pathankot; Hamairpur- Samirpur-Palampur; Slappar-Pandoh-Chailchowk-Karsog-Tattapani-Dhalli and Kumarhatti-Sarahan-Nahan-Paonta Sahib-Dehradun as national highways to bring the number of national highways to 19 in all. He said that with the declaration of all the above as national highways the road network would get strengthened. He said that it would add over 1164 kms. of additional national highways thereby increasing its road length to over 2,424 kms. in all. He said that the state government was paying added attention towards the widening and maintenance of the existing road network so that communication network was strengthened.
Chief Minister said that out of the total 3,243 gram panchayats 2,902 had already been connected with motorable road while efforts were afoot to connect 309 additional gram panchayats with motorable road on priority thereby achieving the target of complete connectivity of all the gram panchayats in the state. He said that the state government had revived the Mukhya Mantri Gram Path Yojna and Rs. 10 crore earmarked to provide connectivity to the villages which were not feasible to be connected with motorable roads. He said that 1,610 kms. of new roads had been targeted for construction during current financial year alongwith 39 bridges. He said that in terms of density of road per 100 square kilometer, Hamirpur district had the highest road density of 149.55 kms. while in terms of population based road density Lahaul-Spiti had the highest among all districts, 34.76 kms. per 1,000 population. He added that similarly the road connectivity in the districts with low density was being given top priority.
Prof. Dhumal emphasized the need to launch special drive to complete the cross drainage work and follow the World Bank guidelines for disposal of the road debris. He said that the department needed to complete work of ongoing projects where 70 percent construction work had been completed by the end of current financial year. He also directed to adopt uniform design for construction of the Ambedkar Bhawans announced for every assembly segment at a cost of Rs. 6.80 crore to be completed during current financial year. He directed the authorities to execute the road side fruit tree plantation scheme of the government as also develop way side amenities for the visitors as also monitor the illegal constructions taking place on the government lands on road side. He said that accident prone areas needed to be marked with warning boards.
Shri Gulab Singh Thakur, PWD Minister, said that the construction projects were being awarded to the contractors who were capable to execute projects in a time bound manner and take advantage of external funds available in the market.
Smt. Asha Swaroop, Chief Secretary, emphasized the need for rationalization of the manpower and construct environmentally compatible roads.
Shri Balram Sharma, Secretary PWD, welcomed the CM and detailed the achievements and targets of the department.
Shri Bhim Sen, Principal Secretary to Cm, Shri Arvind Mehta, Principal Secretary Finance, Shri Mohan Chauhan, Special Secretary PWD, Shri B.S.Rajpal, Engineer-in-Chief, HPPWD, Shri Vijay Uppal, Chief Architect and Chief Engineers of the department were present in the meeting.