It was another unpleasant day for truck driver Ram Lal, an employee with the Indian Oil Corporation, who transports oil to Himachal Pradesh’s industrial town Baddi, which houses more than 1,500 factories.
Getting stranded in front of Pinjore’s iconic Yadavindra Gardens for hours has become his regular regime, all thanks to traffic snarls. He could hardly think of a day when he did not waste his time crossing just twokilometre stretch of Pinjore city before reaching Baddi.
A survey by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) reveals that more than 4,000 trucks and hundreds of professionals travel to Baddi daily via Haryana’s Pinjore and this is where the problem lies.
Since there is no direct link road from Zirakpur-Kalka highway (NH-22) to reach Baddi, the entire commercial traffic going to the industrial city in HP’s Solan district is routed through Pinjore’s narrow lanes, often getting stuck there.
When the HT team visited Pinjore a day before Union road transport and highway minister Nitin Gadkari’s Monday visit to lay the foundation of long-pending Pinjore-Baddi bypass project, everyone, including truck drivers, autos and cars were, as usual, seen moving at a snail’s pace.
But this time, they had something to cheer about.
“It is literally a mental and physical pain to reach Baddi via Pinjore. But I am happy the government has woken up and has finally started the project that will take us directly to Baddi without wasting our time in Pinjore,” said Balwant Singh, a truck driver.
Another driver, Dharampal Singh, said the new bypass will not only save their travelling time but reduce their diesel bill too, since waiting in jams results in extra fuel consumption.
- Itisa win-win. It will decongest Shimla highway and vehicles will reach Baddi without disturbing Pinjore. Harbhajan Singh Lubana, Panchkula truck union chief
- There are days when our men spend entire day easing flow of traffic to Baddi. The new bypass will be a major boon for Pinjore. . Suresh Kumar, SHO, Pinjore
Rs 140-CR PROJECT TO BE COMPLETED IN 2 YEARS
With this project, the industrial town of Baddi will get a direct road link from NH-22 through 7.7-km-long bypass that will start near the HMT factory on the highway.
The project costing Rs 140 crore will get completed within two years. This will not only decongest NH-22 and Pinjore city but also help a large number of professionals working in Baddi and commercial drivers reach the town comfortably.
Being a small town, Pinjore has narrow lanes and is unable to handle heavy movement of vehicular traffic heading to Baddi every day. This creates traffic jams almost every now and then.
A major bottleneck is the spot from where the traffic turns to Pinjore. Due to heavy rush of trucks there,vehicles on NH-22 heading towards Shimla also get affected.
In order to control traffic, trucks are not allowed to enter Pinjore between 7am and 9am, 1pm and 3pm, and 5pm and 8pm. But it is not sufficient, considering the heavy rush to the industrial town.
A resident of Pinjore city, Jugal Kumar, believes the city will finally get a breather once the bypass is constructed.
While locals say more tourists will visit Yadavindra Gardens now, some owners of dhabhas near Pinjore are unhappy as they say the new bypass will affect their business, as most of the traffic will cross the highway without entering Pinjore.