Shimla, March 9
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur laid the foundation stone of double-lane Dhalli tunnel here today. Being constructed parallel to the existing Dhalli tunnel, the Smart City project will ease traffic congestion on the road, which has become a traffic bottleneck over the years.
“The state government is committed to maintain the old glory of Shimla town and Shimla Smart City Project is being executed vigorously to benefit the people,” the Chief Minister said while laying the foundation stone of the project worth around Rs 49 crore. The work on the tunnel started immediately after the ceremony and it’s likely to be completed by this year-end.
The Chief Minister said the existing tunnel was constructed way back in 1852 and the new 147-meter-long double lane tunnel would provide much-needed respite to the commuters. “Shimla has grown and expanded manifold and thus it is important that steps be taken for effective traffic management,” he said.
An official from Himachal Pradesh Road and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HPRIDC), the implementing agency of the project, said the Chief Minister wanted the construction to be completed by September. “The construction work started immediately after the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone. The work will continue even during the night to complete the project as soon as possible,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Thakur said his government was ensuring that all works under Smart City Project were executed at a fast pace. “A Rs-70 crore water supply scheme for Shimla was completed within a record time of one year to ensure that water crisis was solved. New water supply project worth Rs 1,813 crore for the town is being executed. Once completed, it would solve the water problem of the town for next 100 years,” he said.
Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the new tunnel would help in smooth plying of vehicles on this busy National Highway. “Several works such as widening of roads, construction of foot bridges, pedestrian paths, parking, etc, were being executed under the Smart City project,” said Bhardwaj.
Rs1,813 crore water scheme
A Rs70 crore water supply scheme for Shimla was completed within a record time of one year to ensure that water crisis was solved. New water supply project worth Rs1,813 crore for the town is being executed. Once completed, it would solve the water problem of the town for next 100 years. — Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister