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Chandigarh-Manali travel time will be cut by 3 hours as PM to inaugurate new 4-lane highway soon

Four-laning of the Kiratpur-Manali highway is nearing completion which will reduce the travel time between Chandigarh and Manali by as much as 3 hours.

Shimla: In a big boon for tourists and Himachal residents the four-laning of the Kiratpur-Manali highway is nearing completion which will reduce the travel time between Chandigarh and Manali by as much as 3 hours.

Union minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari’s tweet announcing commissioning of five out of the 10 tunnels on the stretch between Pandoh to Oat on the 4-lane highway has already gone viral with a lot of people welcoming the announcement, considering the importance of the road for promoting tourism in the state.

“ The four-lane project heading for its completion will soon be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi—a gift to the Himalayan state which is also strategically important” he said.

While currently a journey from Chandigarh to Manali takes 7 to 8 hours, the travel time will come down to 4.5 hours with the commissioning of the new 4-lane highway.

Gadkari informed that the portion between Hanogi to Jhanoli, which had become dangerous due to frequent landslides, falling stones, and surging waters of the Beas river during monsoons, will be safe and free from all unforeseen disruptions.

“The travel time between Chandigarh and Manli will also be reduced significantly because of the reduction in distance by around 40 km. To make the journey easier and have an even flow of traffic, multiple tunnels have been constructed along the four-lane highway to avoid any disruptions caused by landslides, and rock falls on the way’ said former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur .

The Pandoh bypass, a vital section of this roadway, is already finished. The NH3’s Kiratpur-Manali section, which runs 35 km from the bypass to Takoli, was one of the most hazardous parts of the route. This segment has more than ten bridges, an elevated viaduct, and ten tunnels.

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur has expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari for the construction of tunnels between Hanogi to Jhanoli on the strategically significant Kiratpur-Manali four-lane highway.

Thakur, who represents the Hamirpur parliamentary constituency, acknowledged the Prime Minister’s deep-rooted connection to Himachal Pradesh, referring to the state as Modi’s second home. The ongoing Kiratpur-Manali four-lane project holds immense strategic and touristic importance for the state, he added.

The union minister highlighted the dangers posed during the rainy season, including falling rocks from the mountains and the road becoming inaccessible due to the swelling of the Beas River.

“However, with the completion of the tunnels, these challenges will become a thing of the past. Passengers can now travel safely, save time, and the inconvenience caused by inclement weather will be a thing of the past. The tunnels are currently undergoing trial runs’ he told India Narrative in Shimla.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is executing the four-laning project that will shorten the distance from Kiratpur, which lies on the border of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, to Manali from 232 km to 195 km.

The project will have a transformative impact on tourism and development in the area, benefiting both local and foreign tourists. The improved infrastructure will enhance traffic flow, resulting in fuel and cost savings. The convenience and safety afforded by the tunnels are expected to boost the overall economy of the region.

He said that this Mandi Bharari bridge built on Govind Sagar lake will become a center of attraction for tourists visiting Kullu Manali in the coming times. Therefore, it is very necessary to beautify the area around this bridge.

The Himachal Pradesh government proposes to set up three traffic-cum-tourist police stations along the under-construction Kiratpur-Manali National Highway, chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Monday .

“ I have asked Director General of police Sanjay Kundu and Principal Secretary ( Transport) R D Nazim to visit the sites and submit him a report on setting-up traffic-cum-tourist police stations, prescribe speed limits and work-out plans to set-up trauma centres to take care of eventualities or accidents on the four-lane highway” he informed

Sukhu said the police stations will come up in the Bilaspur, Mandi and Kullu districts and feature an intelligent traffic management system with a control room in each.

The three districts cover about 182 kilometres of the 191-kilometre highway. Sukhu also directed the departments concerned to prepare a detailed report on the jurisdiction of these police stations and said quick assistance will be ensured in case of accidents on the highway.

Arrangements for ambulances and recovery vehicles will be made at certain places on the highway.

The use of advanced technology is being ensured in coordination with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the police for the smooth operation of traffic to reduce accidents, Sukhu added.