Dharamsala, February 17
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has finally given clearance for three roads that will decongest upper Dharamsala areas, including McLeodganj, Bhagsunag and Dharamkot.
Dharamsala MLA Vishal Nehria told The Tribune that the clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest would pave the way for the construction of the three roads. “I have been following the case for environment and forest clearance for the roads. The state Public Works Department (PWD) has received the approval from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest. The construction of roads, which was a long-standing demand of the residents of upper Dharamsala areas, will begin soon,” he said.
The forest clearance has been granted for the Indrunag-Bhagsunag road through Chola village, the Gamru playground to Chola road and the Kamru Mod-Gamru to Chola road.
Sources said while the forest clearance for the roads had been received, funds for the construction work were still awaited. The work on the 2.7-km Indrunag to Bhagsunag road through Chola village was started during the previous Congress government but stopped due to the lack of clearance for a portion of forestland through which it passed. The PWD had already received Rs 5 lakh for the construction of the Indrunag to Bhagsunag road under the MLA priority scheme while the estimated cost of the project was Rs 6 crore.
The sources said that the PWD had sent the case to NABARD for funds for the construction of the Indrunag to Bhagsunag road, which includes the construction of a bridge over a rivulet. At present, the PWD has no funds for the construction of the 1.5-km Gamru playground to Chola road. Nehria said that the state government would soon provide funds for the construction of the road. The PWD had got Rs 50 lakh for the construction of the Kamru Mod-Gamru to Chola road while it required about Rs 5.5 crore for the project. The sources said that the PWD was planning to send the case to NABARD for the grant of funds.
Hoteliers and other people associated with the tourism industry in the upper Dharamsala region have been demanding the construction of the roads to ease traffic congestion during the peak tourist season.