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IIT scientists to study Himachal's landslide-hit areas along major roads: Gadkari

IIT scientists to study Himachal's landslide-hit areas along major roads: Gadkari

Shimla/Kullu, Aug 1(UNI) A joint technical team of scientists from IIT Mandi and IIT Roorkee would visit Himachal Pradesh soon and submit a report on landslide-affected ecologically fragile areas along four lanes and National Highways, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.Engineers of the National Highway Authority of India would also be part of the team, Gadkari told a media conference after visiting landslide and flood-hit Kullu district.
He said geological strata along the river banks including Beas and Satluj are not stable and hills cave in and rivers run parallel to the affected four-lane and National Highways in the state.
The Union minister said he never imagined the scale of loss caused by the recent rain in Himachal Pradesh.
He said NHAI would try to channelise the entire starch of river basins by digging river bottoms and building concrete walls on both sides of rivers. He said flood waters washed away the footwalls of roads and silt and rock and other river debris were causing rise in the water level on banks. At times the flood water was entering the villages situated along the river banks.
He said that IIT Mandi and IIT Roorkee scientists and some competent NHAI engineers would visit the state to suggest ways of minimising the loss caused to the infrastructure and finding a durable solution to build long-lasting highways along geologically fragile regions.
He said a team would visit Himachal on August 3 to find out the reason for the heavy damage caused to roads and give inputs on resolving the problem.
He said a study would be conducted to ensure the free flow of river water and the river bottoms would be made smooth so that water could flow in a uniform manner.
He said the union government would also conduct a study on flood protection in the state and how rocks, stones, concrete and sleet lying on the river banks should be removed so that these didn't damage roads, river banks and infrastructure.
He said a team from Switzerland would visit India and suggestions would be taken to resolve the issue of frequent landslides along NH and four lanes in the state to minimise future losses. He said experts from Himachal Pradesh would be consulted for designing future roads.
He said Rs 3000 to 4000 Crore would be needed to rebuild the recently built Kiratpur-Manali four-lane, which has been damaged by flashflood and landslides. The four-lane had been built by spending around Rs 9000 crore.
He said the union government would award the contract of the Rs 250 crore Bijli Mahadev ropeway by August 15 and Rs 400 crores would be released to the state for building the damaged bridges.
He said that the government has released Rs 250 Crore to maintain all affected NH immediately and Rs 130 Crore for the Calamity Relief Fund. He said Rs 80 Crore would be released immediately. The union government would also help the state to build State Highways to facilitate farmers transporting apples to the market.
Gadkari said NHAI would also help to build bridges washed away and new steel bridges would be built to open the roads for the apple season.
Earlier, Gadkari, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, former Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and Public Works Department Minister Vikramaditya Singh visited the affected areas and interacted with the people.

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