Himachal govt sets September deadline to complete strategic roads along China border
Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts share a 240-km boundary with China and the roads comprise 80km stretch in Chumar and 160km from Daroti to Mumri Dogri
With China rapidly building infrastructure along the Indian border, the Himachal Pradesh government has set a September deadline for the public works department to complete the construction of two strategic road links in the tribal Kinnaur district.
Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts share a 240-km boundary with China. This comprises an 80km stretch in Chumar in Lahaul and Spiti and 160km from Daroti to Mumri Dogri in Kinnaur district.
Himachal’s tribal development department, which is responsible for executing the border area development plan, has asked the PWD to complete the 26km road stretch connecting Kunnu to the border village of Charang by September-end. Expressing concern over the slow progress on the 20km Chitkul-Dumti road, Kailash Chauhan, the joint director of the tribal development department, said: “We have asked them to complete both the roads by September-end.”
The decks have been cleared for building the Bhawa-Mud road connecting Samdo, a forward area along the China border in Lahaul-Spiti. The 32km strategic road will connect the border areas of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts.
State tribal affairs minister Ram Lal Markanda said the PWD of Kaza division has deposited the final instalment of ₹9 crore with the forest department for land acquisition. A sum of ₹12 crore has already been deposited. The total net present value is ₹21 crore for the land to be acquired.
The PWD will start construction in summer.
Bringing Shimla and Kaza closer
With the construction of the road, the distance between Shimla and Kaza, the administrative headquarters of Spiti sub division, will be reduced from 468km to 318km and travel time by four hours.
The distance to Samdo from the state capital would be cut down by 100km from 398km to 298km. This road will pass through an altitude of 12,000 feet.
Giving wings to tourism in region
The construction of the Bhavnagar-Mud road will facilitate the swift movement of the troops along the India-China border in the Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts. The road starts from Bhawanagar in Kinnaur and will connect Mud, the last village in Lahaul-Spiti district. This road will link Samdo-Kaza-Granphu road near Atargu Bridge.
This would be the second important route to connect Spiti with Kinnaur and would give wings to tourism in the region.
The PWD will shortly float tenders for the construction. The Centre has already given the go-ahead for land acquisition but the project was delayed due to non-deposit of acquisition funds.