Regional Head of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Abdul Basit on Saturday said that the Parwanoo-Solan project, which was the authority’s first in Himachal Pradesh, had certain loopholes and they plan to work upon it.
Basit was in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday and inspected the Chandigarh-Shimla national highway (NH-05) site that got swept away near Chakki Mor during the recent spate of rains. After the inspection, Basit added that the contractor, GR Infra, has been asked to submit a detailed project report (DPR) so that fresh designs are made for the permanent restoration of the highway patch.
He added that during Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari’s recent visit to the hill state, it was also discussed to straighten the alignment of Parwanoo-Solan highway by introducing tunnels here, for which a DPR is being prepared. “Parwanoo-Solan being the first project of NHAI on a hilly terrain, it has been a learning experience for the authority,” he added.
Talking to media persons, Basit added, “Our priority is to restore the highway at the Chakki Mor temporarily.
Though our initial target was to open the highway for light vehicles till Monday evening, but as the rains have started again and fresh landslides have happened, we end up reaching square one. Due to this it may take some more time before it is opened. All NHAI officials and our contractors are keeping a close eye on the work in progress as it is a challenge for all of us, to restore it at the earliest.”
When asked about a railway track running near the location, which may also get affected if debris continue to fall, he said, “We are in touch with the railways and also plan to do a meeting with the railways as it is not just the responsibility of the NHAI but everyone to see that things are restored at the earliest.”
Basit added that at present, NHAI has projects of around 68 tunnels, of which 11 have been completed and the rest are under construction and with many improvements which could not be incorporated in the previous ones.
“Also, with the latest DPRs going on, we aim to provide maximum tunnels so that alignment of the road is straight and we have an all weather connectivity. Our headquarters have made an expert committee with one IIT, Roorkee professor, one expert member from Mandi, one member is a retired senior member of NHAI, etc which will be meeting between August 12 and 15 to inspect all the areas in Himachal Pradesh where our highways have got damaged. They will visit the sites of Parwanoo-Solan, Shimla, Kiratpur-Manali and will submit a detailed report after that,” he said, adding that the DPRs will also be shared with the state government for long-term solutions.