Zirakpur-Panchkula Bypass project back on track

5/26/2022 12:46:00 PM

Hanging fire for nearly nine years, the Zirakpur-Panchkula Bypass project, aimed at decongesting Zirakpur by providing an alternative route to the traffic moving between Ambala and Shimla, is back on track as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has begun the land acquisition process. Also pegged as a ring road, the 200-foot, six-lane road will originate from McDonald’s on the Ambala-Zirakpur highway, pass through Peer Muchalla, Sanoli, Gazipur, Nagla (all Mohali villages), before traversing along Sector 25, Panchkula, and culminating at the T-junction on Panchkula-Kalka highway near Sector 4. An estimated ₹800 crore will be spent on the 17-km project that is expected to be completed by March 2023. An NHAI official, privy to the development said, “NHAI has sent letters to the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) not to issue any Change of Land Use (CLU) for the land earmarked for the project and has also written to the Punjab revenue department to publish a notice under Section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act. A letter has also been sent to the district revenue officer not to conduct any registry in respect of the said land.” The official further said that the land acquisition process will be completed by October this year, following which the road was expected to be readied by March next year. Mohali district revenue officer Gurdev Singh Dham said, “After the NHAI letter, the officials concerned have been told not to register any land in the area, as NHAI has started the land acquisition process.” Work on the project had started in 2013, but came to a grinding halt in February 2014 after some landowners moved court seeking higher compensation. Then, NHAI had to wait for GMADA to transfer around 100 acres for the project. The land was eventually handed over in December 2020. Once the road is complete, the Shimla-bound traffic can take this road to bypass the bottleneck at Zirakpur and join the Shimla highway at the Panchkula end. Similarly, Ambala or Delhi-bound traffic from Shimla can also avoid Zirakpur. The road will also open an alternative route from Panchkula to the Chandigarh International Airport in Mohali, but it will be much longer than the existing route via Chandigarh. However, this stretch will give the option to avoid the Chandigarh and Mohali traffic. Chandigarh Master Plan 2031 also proposes this road to divert the around 1.5 lakh vehicles entering Chandigarh daily from Punjab and Haryana. According to the Master Plan committee, through this road, traffic between Mullanpur and Panchkula, and that from Kansal, Zirakpur and Panchkula not headed for Chandigarh can be diverted and significantly reduce traffic congestion on the arterial roads of Chandigarh — Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg. Source: Hindustan Times