In what could be a significant push to develop transportation system in Himachal Pradesh, the Centre has given in-principle approval to three inland waterways in the hill- state.
“The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has given in- principle approval to three inland waterways in Himachal. This includes Chamera Lake in Chamba, Govindsagar in Bilaspur and Maharana Pratap Sagar (Pong Lake) in Kangra district,” transport minister GS Bali said in a press conference here on Monday.
The minister said that the IWAI, which is also the consultancy agency for developing of waterways in Himachal, would soon submit a detailed project report to the Centre.
“Inland water transport has the potential to emerge as one of the cheapest and most environment-friendly modes of transport,” Bali said.
Once the project is through, the minister said, the government would identify the routes in these waterways, which would connect villages located on the banks of the three water bodies. “Efforts will be made to start big motorboats to ferry not only people, but transportation of goods, also including vehicles,” he added.
“Initially, the government will back up the project and later interested private parties may also be involved,” he said.
Bali added that the 40 buses, installed with Transport Intelligence System (TIS), the state had got under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM) had been allocated to different depots and the remaining fleet of 830 within next three months, Bali said, adding that Himachal was the first state to introduce TIS installed buses. “The aim is to provide safer transport to the public,” Bali said.
The minister said Tata Company would be training the drivers to operate the advance system installed in the buses. “Besides, the government will also hold a major workshop on road safety in collaboration with Tata soon,” he added.
He said the government had also allocated crores funds to equip Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) workshops with modern machinery.
Bali, who also holds technical education portfolio, said that Sundernagar Industrial Training Institute (ITI) had been adjudged top ITIs in northern India.
He informed that number of government ITIs in Himachal would cross over 100 very soon.
“A central team headed by additional secretary Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry will soon visit state to inspect land identified for setting up Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Sirmour district,” Bali said, adding that foundation stone of Hydro Engineering Institute at Bilaspur is likely to be laid very soon.