Shimla, Sep 18
Union Government decided to cancel the 223 km long Shimla-Matour four lane highway project as a letter was sent to the state Government by the National Highway Authority of India informing that project is not viable. This was informed by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur after the question hour who was replying to this issue raised by Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri through point- of- order in the state assembly today.
Chief Minister accepted that his government came in the power on this issue would again raise it with the centre emphatically. A visit of Chief Minister was being scheduled to discuss this issue however it was deferred as Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari tested Corona positive two days ago.
”This project proposes to link nine districts of state and being life-line of the people, government wants to expend it to four lanes. The project also facilitates commute of people to reach various shrines in Kangra district,” said CM.
NHAI notified this five package Shimla- Matour four lane project and land for the first package between Kangra-Jawalmukhi land had already been acquired. Raising the issue Mukesh Agnihotri said that State Government rode in power by making hue and cry about the number of NHs announced by Gadkari, during the assembly elections and Lok Sabha Election. Agnihotri said that land has already been acquired by the first package.
However now, the NHAI authorities have handed over the documents of the four lanes to State Public Works departments and it is no longer called a National Highway, he added. Member said that Jai Ram Government was unable to persuade the centre to not declare this project non- viable.
Congress leader said that no four lane figures in the viable list of states and only Ropar-Una four lanes has been mentioned in the NHAI new lists of four lanes.
Cong member Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu also displayed concern that Shimla-Matour road which links six districts including Shimla, Solan, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra is a great setback for the people of this hill state. He said that since the land is already acquired for the package one of this project now it could not be returned to its owners as rule did not permit so.