Palampur, April 7
Ashish Butail, local MLA and general secretary, HPCC, has asked the NHAI to review its decision to construct a two-lane highway between Parour and Mandi instead of a four-lane stretch. He said there was a proposal to construct only a four-lane highway up to Mandi.
Butail said it was injustice to the people of Kangra that the NHAI had changed its original plan after four years and was restricting the highway to two-lane between Parour and Mandi on the pretext that there was less traffic volume.
The NHAI had ignored the fact that there was a heavy volume of traffic between Parour and Jogindernagar on the 50-km stretch. The NHAI should construct the four-lane highway up to Jogindernagar. He said before taking such policy decisions, local officers of the NHAI must hold discussions with elected public representatives such as MLAs and MPs.
He also requested Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to take up the matter with Union Surface and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. With this decision, Palampur, Sulah, Baijnath and Jogindernagar would be the worst affected and people would continue to face regular traffic jams at Maranda, Kalu di Hatti, Baijnath, Paprola and Jogindernagar.
The NHAI had made various changes in its original detailed project report for the 219-km project.
The NHAI has decided to construct four-lane only in the first two phases between Pathankot and Parour (Palampur), however, in the last three phases, between Parour and Mandi, there will be only two-lane.
It has also been demanded that if the NHAI had planned to construct only two-lane between Parour and Mandi, then it should use the old alignment of the NH instead of acquiring fresh land for the two-lane project.