The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued a notice to Himachal Pradesh government to immediately stop work on Kiratpur – Nerchowk Four Lane Project for alleged violation and deviation in alignment and land acquisition plan.

A letter to this effect has been issued by Dehradun based regional office of the ministry after failure of the state government to reply to three letters seeking information about changes in alignment and land acquisition plan.

Regional Office of Environment has been seeking this information for quite sometime and taking a strict action has now asked the state government to stop the ongoing work with a direction to submit the required information with in 30 days under Forest Conservation Act 1980.

Sixty seven Kilometers long Kiratpur – Nerchowk project was started in 2013 and was scheduled to be completed by 2016 but has already been delayed by many years for several hiccups. The contractors engaged by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had stopped the work on the project in June 2018 for the financial crunch. The NHAI has sought fresh bids from a company and trying hard to restart the work as the distance would be reduced by 36 kms.

Four lane project would facilitate thousands of tourists traveling daily between Manali and Chandigarh, considered one of the life lines of Himachal. This road is also used by thousands of truckers daily for transporting cement from three cement plants, apple, tomato and other goods, besides being a strategic road link with Leh and border areas.  

The Regional Office has asked the state government to give detailed information on which places the deviation has been made?

The information in this matter was procured from the department under RTI Act by Four Lane Land Loser and Affected Samiti, which has been raising the issue of alleged deviation.

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