After missing some deadlines, the World Bank-aided Rs 142.22-crore project to widen the Kumar Hatti-Nahan highway has finally been completed.
The road, widening of which entailed a huge environmental cost as 28,000 trees were felled to complete the project, will be designated as intermediate road instead of a state highway.
The existing 72.73-km single lane was being widened and strengthened under the project. The project was supposed to be finished by July 2012 but it took another 18 months to meet the deadline.
The Road Infrastructure Development Corporation (RIDC), the executive agency, had fixed a fresh deadline of March 31, 2014 to complete it.The road connects the state capital with Uttarakhand via a short route and hence its completion was eagerly awaited by people.
RIDC executive engineer RS Jaswal said the work contractor, Som Dutt Builders, would look after the maintenance of the road for one year following which it would be handed over to the public works department (PWD).
RIDC officials said a formation width had been created as a result of which further widening would not be required if the road was declared as national highway in future.
At present, the road width is between 5.5-7 metres which should 7-9 metres for national highway.
Earlier, the road width was 3-5 metres, officials said. After questions were raised over the quality of construction, chief minister Virbhadra Singh had ordered a probe in September last year during his visit to Sarhan.
A PWD team had inspected the road and collected samples of the material used which were found satisfactory. The report said the work was carried out as per the parameters set by the detailed project report.