The State Wildlife Board cleared the National Highway-73 (NH-73) four-laning project and recommended the case to National Board for Wildlife (NBWL). The decision was taken by the State Wildlife Board during a meeting held under chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and additional principal, chief conservator of forests, Amarinder Kaur, here on Thursday. "It was a hurdle which has been cleared. The case has been sent forward," said OC Mathur, project director, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The prominent issue in delay of the NH-73 project was that of clearance of the 20kms falling under the eco-sensitive zone and wildlife sanctuary, Khol Hi Raitan.
The NHAI had submitted the required applications to the department of forest, Haryana government, in May and September 2013, but the approval from State Wildlife Board was pending. With the approval, the case would now be forwarded to NBWL, and after clearance from the same, will be processed to the Supreme Court.
The concessionaire has also expressed to opt out of the project over the delays.
The project of widening NH-73 covers 104.77-km road which connects Panchkula, Barwala, Saha and Yamunanagar. As the project is on the design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) model, it will have two toll plazas, one at Panchkula, and the other at Yamunanagar. The four bypasses have been planned at Yamunanagar, Saha, Shahzadpur and Barwala.
Other projects cleared
The state wildlife board has also sent the proposal to set up Solid Waste Treatment Plant at Jhuriwala, Panchkula, to the National Board for Wildlife. The site is adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary in Panchkula. The matter was being delayed because regular disposal of waste material could affect the ecology and environment, ultimately impacting the biodiversity of flora and fauna.
The cases of IT software companies in Sector 22, IT Park, have also been sent to the National Board of Wildlife for clearance, as they were also falling in the eco-sensitive zone.