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Shimla to Chandigarh, drive in two hours

Four-lane highway being planned to connect Shimla and Chandigarh through Kalka and Pinjore.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2005 12:38 IST

It will take less than two hours to drive from Shimla to Chandigarh, thanks to a new four-lane highway that is being planned. But an earlier proposal to make it an express highway has been given up in order to cut costs.

The Himachal Pradesh government wanted an express highway to connect the 120 km distance between Chandigarh and Shimla. But, according to experts, the building of an express highway would almost double the cost of the already expensive mountain road plan to around Rs14 billion.

An express highway has no detours whereas a national highway can have diversions. An express highway can be a state or central government project, but a national highway is always a central government project.

"Now the highway will have four lanes. The cabinet is likely to approve this soon," said a senior official.

"Once the four-lane highway is built, it will take less than two hours by car to cover the 120 km, instead of the present three hours."

The new highway will bypass the crowded towns of Kalka and Pinjore, which are often plagued by traffic jams. There will be nine tunnels.

The highway is easily the busiest national highway in the state, largely due to the high number of holidaymakers visiting Shimla and others resorts in the region.

First Published: Nov 17, 2005 12:38 IST