The National Wildlife Board has solved the biggest hurdle in four-laning of the Panchkula-Yamunanagar highway, which witnesses maximum road accident deaths in the district, by allowing diversion of 3.6 hectare of the forest land from Khol-Hi-Raitan Wildlife Sanctuary.
It has also allowed diversion of 28.87 hectares of non-forest land that falls within 10km of the sanctuary, which is an eco-sensitive zone. The meeting of the wildlife board took place in January and it’s minutes had been circulated in February.
The NHAI had given the project of widening of 104.77km stretch of the NH-73 to Gammon India. The private contractor was awarded the work for `934.39 crore on March 30, 2012, and was to be completed by January 2015.
But the project was stalled for over three years as the road from Ghaggar bridge up to Jhuriwala was falling in the wildlife sanctuary and eco-sensitive zone, due to which Gammon India left the project.
The proceeding of the meeting informed that clearance to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is given on the condition that it would ensure construction of movement passages for the wildlife.
“We have got the clearance. We have already called for bids by dividing the project into two parts. We will soon call bids for the third part, which has been given clearance by the wildlife board,” said OC Mathur, project director of the NHAI.
The bids that were called in February will be opened on April 7.
According to the notice of the bid, the scope of four-laning work will include rehabilitation, upgrade and augmentation of the existing carriageway of the UP/Haryana border, Yamunanagar-Saha-Barwala-Panchkula and section of NH-73 to four lane standards with construction of new pavement, rehabilitation of existing pavement, construction or rehabilitation of major and minor bridges, culverts, road intersections, interchanges, drains, etc.