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Fund crunch delays HP tunnel projects

Fund crunch delays HP tunnel projects

Three mega traffi c tunnel projects—two of them cleared by the state government in Himachal Pradesh in July 2012—may not take off any time soon. The fate of the projects will depend on the funding provisions, which is expected to run into hundreds of crores of rupees.

The Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had laid down the foundation for one of the projects a fortnight before the Assembly elections were announced. The 1,200-m long Bangana-Dhaneta road tunnel to connect Una and Hamirpur districts will cost more than Rs 145.47 crore as per the detailed project report prepared by Austrian consultancy fi rm Bernard Ingenieure. The tunnel will reduce the distance between Bangana and Dhaneta towns of the two districts by eight kilometre. Another ambitious project is the 2.8-km Bhubbu Jot tunnel on the Jogindernagar-Shilh Bhadwani -Kullu road estimated to cost Rs 367 crore. Since Bhubbu Jot pass in Kullu district remains covered with heavy snow between December and March, the tunnel beneath the pass would provide allweather road connectivity, says Public Works Minister Gulab Singh Thakur.

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