Today, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met with Union Minister for Highway and Surface transport Shri. Nitin Gadkari ji to bring to his attention important issues regarding road-transport and connectivity in Darjeeling Lok Sabha region. MP Raju Bista raised these issues with the Hon’ble Minister.
Expediting Repairing of NH 55: The MP highlighted how NH 55 has been shut down since 2009 due to Landslide at Tindharey. He informed Gadhkari ji that while the repair work is being undertaken, the slowness of the process has caused people to suffer, especially those living in Ghayabari, Tindharey, Mahanadi, Shiva Khola and adjoining region.
Construction of flyover from Khaprail More (Matigara) to Siliguri Court More: The MP highlighted how traffic and congestion had become unbearable in Siliguri region, he also mentioned the letter sent by Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad Chairman Tapas Sarkar. He informed the Minister how building a flyover from Khaprail more to Court More on the lines of “Maa Setu” Bridge in Kolkata will not just ease traffic around Darjeeling More, but will also ease traffic for people entering into Siliguri City from various adjoining areas.
Alternative Highway to the Hills: The MP highlighted how Darjeeling has grown exponentially in terms of people and tourism inflow over the years. He also highlighted how during monsoon both NH 55 connecting Darjeeling to Siliguri, and NH 31 connecting Kalimpong to Siliguri gets shut down due to landslides. He requested new alternative 4-lane highways be constructed from Siliguri to Darjeeling via Balason-Dhotrey-Ghoom, and Siliguri to Kalimpong via Bagrakote-Gorubathan-Lava needs to be developed.
The Hon’ble Minister in-turn instructed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials, who were present at the meeting to take up these issues on a priority basis. The Hon’ble minister while agreeing to these demands stated the need to go for land acquisition for these projects. Gadhkari ji assured that the Ministry will soon provide an in-principle approval for Alternative Highway to Darjeeling and send a team to conduct a feasibility study on the alternate routes from Siliguri to Darjeeling via Balasun, and Kalimpong via Gorubathan.