Chief minister Virbhadra Singh said the government was making consistent efforts for constructing more roads in the state despite its difficult topography as they were the only lifeline for its residents. Addressing a review meeting on national highways and Central Road Fund (CRF) projects in the state, which was also attended by central health minister JP Nadda on behalf of the road transport & highways minister, he said most highways in the state were single lane and were not being regularly maintained. "Maintenance of roads becomes imperative in a hill state like Himachal where landslips and overflowing culverts pose a major hindrance to commuters," he said.
Virbhadra Singh also urged the central road transport & highways ministry to hand over maintenance of roads under the Border Roads Organization to the state public works department as these roads needed to be repaired twice in a year, once after snowfall and once after the rainy season was over. "As about two-thirds of the state is forest land forest clearances are required for almost every new road project. The Himachal government has already taken up the matter with the central government to empower the state for giving permissions up to minimum five hectares of area including roads, which would help in completing the projects well in time besides cutting down on unnecessary expenditure," he added.
Old Hindustan Tibet road
The chief minister also underlined the old Hindustan-Tibet highway in Kinnaur district should be widened and regular maintained as "this was the only viable solution for many years to come."