Monday, December 09, 2019

Posted at: Aug 13, 2019, 7:06 AM; last updated: Aug 13, 2019, 7:08 AM (IST)

Commuters piqued at tardy pace of work on Solan bypass

Commuters piqued at tardy pace of work on Solan bypass
Vehicles move at a snail’s pace on the Solan bypass. The project was conceived in 2015.

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, August 12

No early solution to traffic woes is expected due to the tardy pace of construction of the 5.14-km Solan bypass. The bypass was supposed to provide a breather to residents from frequent traffic jams.

Though its construction began in 2016 and was supposed to be completed a year later, ill-conceived planning has delayed its completion. The road is only 50 per cent complete till now and officials hope it will see the light of day by March next year. Its deadline has been extending every six months.

The project, conceived in 2015, has met with several roadblocks which have hindered its smooth progress. The project cost is initially pegged at Rs 26 crore.

A sum of Rs 11.98 crore was spent on acquiring a major portion of land initially. More than two years were spent on finalising the land as the initial survey was diverted to favour a few land owners, which sizeably pushed up its cost of acquisition.

The project was being funded by NABARD. Some delay was also caused in paying compensation to private land holders. The funds were received in bits and pieces and the last installment of Rs 5 crore was sanctioned in April this year by the Chief Minister during his visit to the town which paved the way for acquiring the remaining land.

The approval was accorded for the diversion of 2.873 hectares for the project by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in 2015 and the net present value of Rs 26,97,747 was later deposited by the user agency with the Forest Department. As many as 1,065 saplings and 535 trees were supposed to be axed for laying the road initially.

Executive Engineer, PWD, Arvind Kumar, said about 50 per cent of the work had been completed and the permission to axe trees on the private land was awaited from officials of the Forest Department. He hoped that the work would be completed by March 2020.

The project also includes carving out a link road to connect villages like Shayothal, Mananjhi, Bhagrol, Dharanjhanti Kalan, Dharanjhanti Khurd, Bharkhor, Chilla Khurd, Chilla Kalan,Chilari, Badlayana, Shamlech and also a bridge.

This bypass is slated to connect the National Highway-05 at Samlech village. When completed, it will help decongest Solan town, where the influx of vehicles is leading to traffic jams on a daily basis.

Notably, the traffic problem in Solan town has reached an alarming proposition. This bypass was slated to provide a convenient diversion to the motorists who would be saved the hassle of traversing the entire town.

Since the Mall road is the hub of traffic congestion and it has its spillover on the Shamti road, residents feel the construction of the bypass was the only solution to provide a breather to the congested roads of the town.

The traffic jams especially pose problems in the movement of emergency vehicles like fire tenders and ambulances on the Mall Road.

The work began during the Congress regime had failed to weigh its various dimensions and the ill-conceived plan has been plagued with the shortage of funds. This road was supposed to converge with the upcoming four-laned highway. The delay was also caused as additional land had to be required to align it with the highway. This factor was not taken into consideration when the project was conceived in 2015 though the four-lane work of the highway had begun then

Only 50% work done

  • Though its construction began in 2016 and was supposed to be completed a year later, lack of planning has delayed its completion
  • The road is merely 50 per cent complete till now
  • Officials hope that the project will see the light of day by March next year
  • Its deadline is extended every six months, which angers commuters 

"About 50 per cent of the work has been completed and the permission to axe trees on the private land is awaited from officials of the Forest Department. I hope that the work will be completed by March 2020."—— Arvind Kumar, Executive Engineer, PWD


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