Twenty Eight projects worth approximately Rs 350 crore, including the construction of three flyovers, five roundabouts, five escalators and three smart parking lots, were approved by the Board of Directors of Shimla Smart City Mission. All projects have to be started before March 31, 2020.
The directors took up the 28 projects on priority as most of these did not need approval from the National Green Tribunal, which had banned construction in the green and core areas around three years ago. “Even if the NGT nod is needed, we will seek permission from the state supervisory committee,” said a smart city project official. The meeting was chaired by Chief Secretary Srikant Baldi and attended by the Managing Director-cum-Commissioner of Smart City Mission Pankaj Rai.
Though nothing substantial has happened on the road projects, these aimed at decongesting city roads where traffic jams are a routine. “Consultants are yet to be appointed to study the feasibility of the projects, detailed reports of which are yet to be made,” an official said.
“Three flyovers have been proposed at Talland, Bemloe and between Winterfield and Victory Tunnel near the Railway Station on the Cart Road. The flyovers and chowks when widened will ease the traffic problem in the city,” said Superintending Engineer Nitin Garg.
“Five major traffic junctions which are proposed to be developed into roundabouts are Sanjauli Chowk, Dhalli Chowk, Old Barrier-Tuttikand, Chhota Shimla near Ashiana restaurant and Boileauganj Chowk,” said Pankaj Rai.
He said consultants would be appointed wherever required to carry out the feasibility study. The Circular Road, too, would be widened wherever possible. The eight road projects would cost Rs 11 crore, while the widening of the roads in the city would cost Rs12.50 crore. A road would be constructed from Manchanda Clinic near Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital to link the IGMC-Sanjauli Road to the Circular Road near the new parking complex near the Auckland tunnel. Three major smart parking lots which have been approved are — 1,000-vehicle complex near the IGMC’s new OPD block, 500-vehicle marking at Vikasnagar and 200-vehicle parking at SDA Complex, Kasumpti.
The five escalators are proposed to be installed at: Lift-Metropol-The Mall, Jakhu parking to temple top, Cart Road to The Mall, Auckland tunnel to police chowki, Lakkar bazaar, and Tibetan Market to The Ridge. One elevator is proposed to be installed from Lakkar Bazzar to Bantony Castle.
The construction of pedestrian paths from Sanjauli to IGMC, Dhalli tunnel to Dhalli Bazaar, the smart path along Circular Road, two-foot bridges near the Lift over the Cart Road and over the Chotta Shimla-Vikasnagar Road were also approved. The Rs10-crore Dhalli tunnel, parallel to the present tunnel, has also got green signal. A project to beautify the of The Mall has also been approved.