Palampur, December 25
The Central Empowerment Committee has given its clearance to the 114-km-long Baijnath-Utrala-Bharmour-Holi road, one of the most strategic road projects of the state. Committee members, who met at Shimla yesterday, cleared the project.
The construction of the road was hanging fire in the absence of a forest and environment clearance from the Government of India. This road will be constructed through the Dhauladhar hills connecting Baijnath with Bharmour via Jalsu Pass. It had been hanging fire for the past 30 years.
Trilok Kapoor, chairman, HP State Wool Federation, said after the completion of the road, the distance between Baijnath and Bharmour would be reduced by 200 km. He said the project would be funded by NABARD and it had already released Rs 13 crore in the current year’s budget for the construction of the first phase of 15 km. He thanked Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur for taking personal interest in getting this project cleared.
Kapoor said last year he had also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard and requested him to declare the Baijnath-Bharmour road project as a national road project on a par with the roads being constructed in Jammu Kashmir and the North-East.
He said the Government of India had already approved the DPR of the state government for the first phase and also released Rs 13 crore. The DPRs for the next phases would be submitted soon.
“The road project will benefit the tribal people of Chamba and Kangra district who live in
the snowbound areas of the Dhauladhar hills for nine months in a year
and migrate to lower areas in in acute winter,” Kapoor added.
He said the road project would open new avenues for the tourism industry as slopes of the Dhauladhar hills could be used for adventure sports.