The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday gave its nod to four-laning of a 19-km stretch of National Highway-21 in Himachal Pradesh.
The construction, from end of Pandoh bypass to Takoli section, will be done at an estimated cost of Rs 2,775.93 crore, a statement said.
This is a sub-project of the National Highways Authority of India’s larger project for four-laning of NH-21 from Kiratpur in Punjab to Manali in Himachal Pradesh.
Once complete, the larger project would provide all weather connectivity to important tourist destinations like Kullu and Manali and further upto Leh.
The other four sub-projects of this project include Kiratpur-Nerchowk, Nerchowk-Pandoh, Takoli-Kullu and Kullu-Manali sections.
“The cost (for the sub-project) is estimated to be Rs 2,775.93 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 19 km,” a Road Transport and Highways Ministry statement said.
It added that the four-laning of NH 21 from Kiratpur to Manali would reduce the distance between the two by 38 km, resulting in a time saving of approximately three hours.
“This will result in huge saving in terms of fuel consumption and wear and tear cost of vehicles,” it said.
The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh and in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between end of Pandoh bypass to Takoli section, the ministry said.
“The development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of this region in the state.
“It would also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. It has been estimated that a total number of 4,076 mandays are required for construction of one kilometre of highway. As such, employment potential of 77,000 mandays will be generated locally during the construction period of this stretch,” it added.
NHAI is also executing the four-laning of NH-22 from Parwanoo to Shimla (including Shimla bypass). The length of this project is 89.71 km and the cost is Rs 2,739 crore.
The work has already started in the stretch from Parwanoo to Solan. The project construction from Solan to Shimla is likely to commence shortly, the ministry said.