Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh called on Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari at New Delhi today and stressed for a need to explore the possibility to restore old Hindustan – Tibet Road, in order to have better access to the Indo-China Border area.
Chief Minister apprised the Union Minister that Ambala-Shimla-Kinnaur (NH-22) was blocked for the last 3 months at Tapri-Urni in Kinnaur district. He said that the old Road built up during the 18th and 19th century be restored and maintained as National Highway as strategic Border Road, alongwith its original route.
Virbhadra Singh also raised the issue of Shimla-Mataur (Kangra) National Highway-88 for four laning keeping in view the significance of this highway as it traverses across five districts of the State. He requested the Union Minister to expedite the work on the tendering process for Parwanoo-Shimla and Ner Chowk-Manali, four lane roads being constructed by NHAI in the State.
Chief Minister urged the Union Minister to consider the demand of Himachal Pradesh to upgrade 9 identified roads for being declared as National Highways.
Chief Minister also requested the Union Minister for declaring more roads as National Highways on priority basis keeping in view the importance of road connectivity in this State and also said that the cost of maintenance of roads was extremely high due to tough topographical conditions and snow and monsoon damages. He said that there was a need to relax the norms in terms of advance allocation for urgent repair and maintenance of roads in the State.
Nitin Gadkari assured the Chief Minister to look into the pending matters and also directed the senior officers to expedite the work on issuing the pending notification regarding declaring the National Highways of Himachal Pradesh on priority basis.
V.C. Pharka, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister and senior officers of Road Transport and Highways Ministry looking after the work of Himachal Pradesh were also present in the meeting.