Fund-starved Shimla Municipal Corporation has gone high to pose a Rs 6,000 crore city mobility plan for Shimla, an erstwhile summer capital of the British days, to World Bank team,which was camping in Shimla for past two days to hold discussions with state government on funding new development and infrastructure projects.
After two-day discussions with the Shimla’s Mayor Sanjay Chauhan and Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar,beside Municipal Commissioner Shimla Pankaj Rai ,the World Bank team has invited Mayor and Deputy Mayor to New Delhi for follow-up discussions on February 16.
The WB is likely to fund Shimla’s traffic mobility plan.
“The mobility plan,which is innovative and takes care of town’s needs for next 30 to 35 years ,has new traffic tunnels—two of these required immediately, fly-ways and ropeways to decongest the town and ensure a smooth movement of the vehicular traffic .Two tunnels –one to connect Lift (Card road) with Himfed (Petrol Pump) and another same site with Lakkar bazar are two priority projects ,of total six tunnels proposed to the WB for funding,” said Panwar.
In Shimla, 45 percent of the commuters use public transport, 48 percent pedestrians and only seven percent use private/official cars.
He said “The total cost of two tunnels will be more than Rs 600 crores.The WB team was given a detailed presentation and they have asked us to come down to Delhi and hold more elaborate discussions with experts and funding agency. The officials of the traffic wing of the police and Transport department will also be asked to assist.”
In the mobility plan, the corporation has highlighted the need for setting-up ropeways to connect new IBST at Tutikandi with Old bus stand and thereafter connect Ridge and Jakhu. “We are already much ahead on the World Bank’s suggestions and ropeway projects were at very advanced stage,” deputy Mayor says.
The team also held discussions with Chief Secretary P Mitra on infrastructure projects including second-phase of the state road project. The WB team has conveyed displeasure over slow pace of works on the road projects and wanted the PWD and other agencies to improve the condition of the roads.