Kullu, April 30
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) yesterday opened the double-lane stretch of the four-lane Bajaura bridge over the Beas in Kullu for traffic from the Jhiri to Bhuntar road and the Kullu bypass. Now, vehicles going from the Mandi side to Manali or Manikaran and vice-versa could take this route to avoid Bhuntar and Kullu towns.
The problem of traffic congestion had increased in Bhuntar and Kullu towns, especially after the closure of the Bhuntar Bailey bridge for the movement of heavy vehicles on March 11. The tourist season is gaining pace and the number of vehicles, including luxury buses, is increasing every day. The NHAI authorities had committed to throwing open the bridge for traffic by the end of April. The problem of traffic congestion in Kullu town’s areas will also reduce.
This bridge will be an alternative route to the Bhuntar bridge. It has produced the opportunity for the construction of the proposed double-lane paved bridge at Bhuntar to replace the existing bailey bridge, which is being used as a stopgap arrangement since 1995.
NHAI project director Naveen Mishra said that as per the ruling of the Union Ministry of Highways, the Jhiri-Bajaura and Bhuntar bypass had automatically become the National Highway No. 3 when it was thrown open to vehicular traffic. He added that Rs 9 crore was given to the Public Works Department (PWD) as a one-time settlement amount for the maintenance of the Bhuntar to Jia bridge.