After much delay work is finally expected to start by the end of the year to widen and upgrade the key Theog-Hatkoti 80 km long road which passes through much of Himachal Pradesh’s apple belt.
The state cabinet Saturday gave its approval for the 321 crore World Bank funded project to the Gurgaon based C and C Company , officials said .
The company has been given two years to complete the road widening work.
Divided into two parts . The first from Theog to Kharapather is 48 km long and will cost Rs 179 crore.The 32 km stretch from Kharapather to Hatkoti will cost 142 crore.
The road upgradation work had earlier been awarded to a Chinese PSU Long Jian Road & Bridge Construction Company . But after much delay it was only able to complete a fifth of the work forcing the state government to cancel the project and invite fresh tenders.
For the past few years the entire road has been dug up causing a lot of inconvenience to commuters , particularly during the apple harvest from July to October when the volume of traffic is huge .
The delay since 2008 has raised the cost from Rs 228 crore to Rs 321 crore.
In view of the state wide protests against the sharp increase in bus fares in state roadways buses earlier this week the state cabinet reduced the minimum ticket price. Now the minimum ticket will cost Rs 3 instead of Rs 5 for the first 3 km .
The Cabinet approved to accept the proposal of the Uttar Pradesh government for payment of Rs 157 crore against power sold to them with late payment surcharge payable at the rate of 6 per cent on the principal amount.