Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of various road projects costing Rs 6,155 crore for Himachal Pradesh and assured that within two years the travelling distance between Delhi and Kullu would be reduced to seven hours.
In the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here, Gadkari dedicated the four-lane Parwanoo-Solan section of national highway (NH) 5, having a length of 39.14 km and constructed at a cost of Rs 1,303 crore.
The Road Transport and Highway Minister laid the foundation stones, among others, of four-lane of the Kangra bypass to Bhangbar section of NH-88, having a length of 18.13 km to be constructed at a cost of Rs 1,323 crore; four-lane of Kiratpur to Nerchowk section having a length of 47.75 km to be constructed by spending Rs 2,098 crore; four lane and two lane of Paonta Sahib to Hewna section of 25 km length to be constructed at a cost of Rs 273 crore; and two lane of Hewna to Ashyari section of 25 km with an outlay of Rs 243 crore.
Gadkari said better roads in the state would go a long way in tourism promotion.
He said in the next two years the travelling distance between Delhi and Kullu would be reduced to seven hours. This would give a big boost to tourism in the state.
The Minister assured that all roads and projects whose foundation stones were laid by him on Thursday would be completed within the stipulated timeframe.
He said road projects of Rs 15,000 crore would be awarded to this state this year. The detailed project report (DPR) for the construction of 40 km left bank road project in Manali would be prepared at the earliest.
Gadkari said that the Union government would provide all possible assistance to the state for the construction of alternative mode of transportation such as cable car and for strengthening the road networks in the state.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said being a hilly state roads are the only mode of transportation.
He said the state has about 40,000 km road length, but being a hilly state a lot more needs to be done.
Thakur thanked the Union Minister for dedicating and laying the foundation stones of road projects.
He said the state government has succeeded in getting sanction of 997 projects from the Centre in the last three and a half years.
During this period, the government connected 305 villages by roads as compared to 261 roads connected during the tenure of the previous Congress government.
The Chief Minister urged Gadkari for the construction of the Bhuboo Jot tunnel and for double laning of the left bank road for Manali.
Union Minister of State for Road, Transport and Highways V.K. Singh, who connected with the programme virtually, said road projects worth Rs 2,000 crore have been completed in the state and work was in progress on projects of Rs 7,000 crore.
Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, while addressing the event virtually, said the road infrastructure in the country has witnessed unprecedented expansion.