The Uttarakhand government has cleared the decks for construction of 29-km Dunga-Mussoorie bypass that will be connected with Chakrata road, a national highway.
A meeting held by the chief secretary Shatrughna Singh on Friday cleared the decades-old proposal for the road and asked the forest department to hand over 18 hectares to the public works department for the project.
The government will provide land to the forest department for planting saplings for the loss of greenery caused by the project, official sources said, adding that the bypass will be constructed to keep Dehradun free from outside traffic.
“Once the bypass is constructed, tourists, coming from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to Mussoorie through the west and the north-west sides of the state, will not be required to enter Dehradun city,” a source said.
Singh also asked the district magistrates of Pauri and Tehri through a video conferencing to make land available to the forest department for plantation.
According to the Union government’s Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) norms, the forest department is supposed to get double area in lieu of the land it provides for non-forestry project from the agency that acquires its land.
After receiving Singh’s order, the district magistrate of Pauri said 36 hectares of revenue land would be provided to the forest department.
Vice president of the state Congress Shankarchand Ramola who was making efforts for construction of the bypass since 1998 and was present at the meeting told HT, “The bypass will not only create a new tourist circuit in Mussoorie, Gangotri, Yamunotri and other areas, but also open business and employment opportunities for locals.”
The idea of the project came into being in 1998 when former chief minister ND Tiwari had sanctioned Rs 8.7 lakh for feasibility survey of the bypass in 2007, but PWD dithered.