IF YOU are using the Pinjore-Parwanoo bypass, please be careful as the highway authorities have not covered the entire stretch of hilly slopes with iron nets.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) got the work of installing nets started ahead of opening the bypass in 2012 as the hilly slopes en route the bypass could give in anytime, especially during the rains. However, the work was left midway.
O C Mathur, project director of NHAI, said, “Before the work was to begin, a safety consultant was hired and as per their directions, the work was carried out. You can let me know the stretch where these iron nets need to be installed or the existing ones have to be repaired. We will get these checked.”
The nets are of non-rusting material.
The Himalayan Expressway passes through three states — Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The road runs 2 km in Punjab, 21 km in Haryana and 4.6 km in Himachal Pradesh. The small stretch has 32 structures, including a rail overbridge, two flyovers and 11 bridges.
“It is such a beautiful place to stand and enjoy natural beauty. The authorities should make sure that the bypass is safe for people,” said Ishan Gandhi, who was on his way to Shimla. “What if somebody is travelling and because of a landslide, the entire hill slope comes down on the road?”
The work on the bypass was started in March 2008 and was scheduled to be completed in August 2010. However, many hiccups, including land acquisition in some parts of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, led to long delays in the project. The bypass, comprising eight bridges and four underpasses, is part of the Zirakpur-Parwanoo four-lane project on the National Highway 22.
Even as tourists taking the bypass to go to Shimla pay toll, no effort has been done to ensure a safe drive for them. A car owner has to pay Rs 23 at the Chandimandir toll plaza and Rs 30 for Himachal Pradesh entry fee at Parwanoo.