Centre to spend ₹7,205 crore to remove bottlenecks on highways in Punjab

The project is aimed at strengthening the existing NH infrastructure by rectifying accident black spots to make driving safer

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The Union government has planned to spend ₹7,205 crore to remove traffic bottlenecks by realigning key highways in Punjab under the National Highway Development Project (NHDP).

Official privy to the development said that under phase-1 of the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana —- a centrally-sponsored and funded road and highways project — 223km area will be covered for building bypasses across the state. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has drawn up a proposal to finish work for decongesting eight identified highways in the state.

Officials said the project is aimed at strengthening the existing NH infrastructure by rectifying accident black spots to make driving safer. “Various spots have been identified on NHs that require traffic management solutions. Developing bypasses by acquiring new lands is a better idea as the exercise of constructing flyovers may invite opposition from the shopkeepers and traders,” said an official.

According to official information, detailed project reports (DPRs) are being prepared by the authorities and broad layouts have been proposed for the execution.

A budget of ₹2,000 crore has been estimated for the Jalandhar-Panipat national highway, one of the busiest stretches in the North. The NHAI has planned three bypasses on this stretch in Punjab at Khanna (33km), Phagwara (5km) and Phillaur (11km).

Similarly, the Chandigarh-Bathinda national highway is proposed to have new bypasses in Patiala, Bhawanigarh and Rampura towns. The proposed northern Patiala bypass is tipped to be of 27km involving ₹935 crore for land acquisition and construction. A total of ₹1,573 crore has been planned for the highway that connects southern Punjab with Chandigarh.

The NHAI has planned to spend ₹935 crore to complete remaining work on the Chandigarh-Bathinda-Amritsar highway. According to the proposal, a 27km bypass will decongest the key highway network of the Malwa belt.

A sum of ₹900 crore will be spent on another bypasses project at Pathankot, Mukerian, Dasua and Bhogpur on the Jammu-Delhi highway. There is a proposal to construct bypasses in Mullanpura and Jagraon with a budget of ₹530 crore on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway.

Similarly, the central agency will spend ₹495-crore to develop the eastern Kurali bypass on the Chandigarh-Kurali road.

A bypass is proposed to be constructed in Moga on the Ludhiana-Talwandi highway at an estimated cost of ₹400 crore. Besides, the NHAI has planned the realignment of Amritsar-Jalandhar road with a budget of ₹375 crore.