For A Smoother Ride

Four-laning of NH-22 (Parwanoo-Shimla) and NH-73 (Panchkula-Yamunanagar) is expected to cut travel time and make the journey safer. Better connectivity will benefit all of the Tricity. Work on NH-73 is progressing faster than on NH-22, which was stalled due to a NGT stay.

Written by Saurabh Prashar | Published:July 3, 2017 8:25 am
Work in progress on the Parwanoo-Shimla four-lane project near Solan in Himachal Pradesh. Photos: Jaipal Singh

National Highway-22: Parwanoo-Solan-Kaithlighar-Dhalli Shimal bypass The first phase of the four-laning on NH-22 starts at Parwanoo and ends at Solan (40km) but it’s been slow progress. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered a stay on the issue of tree felling. The NGT had issued stay orders in March, 2016, and no work on its was done for nearly nine months. Work began again only after the Himachal Pradesh High Court stayed the NGT orders in December, 2016.

The first phase is the most important and complicated of the three, due to the presence of 298 constructions, including illegal ones, on the land acquired for the four-laning.

Popular destinations lie on this stretch, including the turn off to the tiny military cantonment of Kasauli. Senior NHAI officials informed many of the 298 constructions have been removed, and work on removing the others is going on. Compensation has also been given out.

The demolished constructions include the famous Giani Ka Dhaba at Dharampur. Around 12,500 trees, including pine, eucalyptus, senegalia catechu have been chopped on this stretch.

The construction work of four-laning worth Rs 748 crore on this stretch is with M/s G R Infrastructure Ltd, a Rajasthan based leading infrastructure company. The deadline of the completion of four land in phase-1 is listed as March, 2018. But it is doubtful whether the deadline can be met.

Construction work on at Mohali-Kharar Road. Express/Sahil Walia

Phase-2: Solan to Kaithlighat (23-km stretch)

Work on this stretch had begun but has been delayed, as NHAI had to quash a recently allotted tender to a private construction company as another company, Gawar Infrastructure, raised objections and also filed a lower construction cost than the company that had been given the tender.

However, NHAI officials believe once the construction begins again, the stretch will not take much time. Reasons:

fewer constructions on the acquired land.

A senior NHAI officer said, “There are only 60 identified constructions to remove. Fresh tender inviting bids for the construction work will be issued shortly and efforts are being made to complete this proceeding as soon as possible.” Deputy Commissioner (DC), Solan, Rakesh Kanwar said, “Identification of structures to remove between Solan to Kaithlighat has been completed. District administration has been completed its all the formalities.” Kaithlighat falls in Solan district. The total cost of four-laning on this stretch is around Rs 600 crore.

Phase 3: Kaithlighat to Dhalli (27-km long stretch)

This is a densely forested stretch. It is free of construction. It is alo the most exciting. As per the detailed plans, it will have three tunnels of a total length of about 2 km, nine major bridges out of which one would be a cable stayed bridge, 4 minor bridges and 89 culverts. As all there is right now here is a dirt track, work will have to begin from scratch.

According to the project manager, NHAI, Yogesh Rawat, the construction work has been recently rewarded to Chetak Enterprises in February, 2017 and but exact date of commencement of work is yet to be decided. Rawat maintains generally the construction company was bound to complete the construction work within three years since the date of commencement of construction work.

The project is not just expected to decongest Shimla city from non-destination traffic but also improve connectivity to Indo-Tibet Border and other tourist places in the region.

Work in progress on the Parwanoo-Shimla four-lane project near Solan in Himachal Pradesh. Photos: Jaipal Singh

National Highway-73: (Yamunanagar-Saha-Barwala-Panchkula)

Construction work in all three phases of the 106km is going on full swing. The stretch begins at Yamunanagar and ends at Majri chowk light point of Panchkula, an intersection meeting the NH-22, Kalka-Shimla highway, and entry point of Chandigarh.

Project Director with NHAI, Jaswinder Singh, who is supervising the entire project, said, “ The first two phases -Yamunanagar to Mullana (Ambala district) and Mullana to Barwala (Panchkula district) – will be complete in April, 2018; the third phase between Barwala to Majri chownk light point will be completed in April, 2019. More than two dozen bypasses, and road under bridges (RuBs) and some new bridges have been constructed and some are being constructed in the stretch of 106km.”

The construction work of first two phases was awarded to Sadbhav Engineering, an Ahmedabad based firm, in 2015. The construction work of third phase has been awarded to Gawar Infrastructure in March, 2016.

Phase 1: Yamunanagar to Mullana (44.5 km)

The construction work of four lanes on this 44.5km long stretch has been started in November, 2015 and it is likely to finish in April, 2018. The total cost of four lanes in the first phase is Rs 468 crore. According to NHAI officials, maximum construction work on this stretch has been completed and the newly made roads have been used by commuters for last some months.

Phase 2: Mullana to Barwala (43 km)

The construction work on this stretch began in October, 2015 and it is expected to be finished by April, 2018. Mullana and Saha (which is en route) are two sub towns in district Ambala, and Barwala is in Panchkula district. “This four lane will also benefited people traveling between rural areas of Panchkula and Ambala,”said an official supervising the work. The project cost is an estimated Rs 436 crore

Phase 3: Barwala to Majri chownk light point, Panchkula (19 km)

Four-laning on this stretch at a cost of Rs 207 crore was started in November, 2016 and it was expected to complete in April, 2019.

“All the necessary formalities to acquire land adjoining NH-73 has been completed. Even a little portion of a heritage building, Ramgarh Fort, has been also acquired for widening the road. Some sensitive places including the training center of Indo Tibet Border Police (ITBP), Terminal Ballastic Research Laboratory (TBRL) are located on this particular stretch and NHAI authorities maintain the secrecy of these places while widening the road”, a senior NHAI officer, said.

The construction work includes a new bridge over Ghaggar river, removal of a little portion of hill adjoining famous Nada Sahib Gurudwara.

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