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Himachal Pradesh CM dedicates Sanjauli-Dhalli tunnel to people

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Shimla, Dec 25 (PTI) The newly-constructed Sanjauli-Dhalli tunnel, built at a cost of Rs 47.36 crore, was inaugurated by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu here on Monday.

Taking a jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sukhu said the construction work of the 154.22-metre tunnel was going on at a snail’s pace under the previous government in the hill state and the Congress government expedited it and the structure was completed within a year.

The state government has directed all departments to ensure a time-bound completion of every project, Sukhu was quoted as saying in a statement issued here.

The existing Dhalli tunnel, which was constructed in 1852, served as a single-lane passage and had surpassed its design life, causing persistent traffic congestion. With the inauguration of the new tunnel, these issues would be addressed.

Tourism, a key industry in Himachal Pradesh, stands to benefit significantly from the improved connectivity. The tunnel, strategically positioned on the route to popular tourist destinations, such as Kufri, Naldehra, Tattapani, Narkanda and Chail, will ease the movement of tourists and contribute to the region’s economic growth, Sukhu said.

The paintings in the tunnel on the theme of the Jatar procession of Shimla were conceptualised by Professor Him Chatterjee, who had earlier designed the murals (wall paintings) on the 28,991-square metre Integrated Transit Corridor in and around the Pragati Maidan in Delhi.

The idea was to take the journey from Shimla towards upper Shimla and therefore, the Jatar (devta) procession was chosen, Chatterjee, the chairman of the department of visual arts in the Himachal Pradesh University, told PTI, adding that the tunnel was hand- painted by the students of the university and artists from Delhi.

The Choltu dance form depicted in the paintings is an important form of “Pahari” dance, which is practised in upper areas of the state, such as Theog, Rohru, Rampur, Kotkhai, he said.

The dance is performed in the devotion of local deities on special occasions.

“Initially, I developed the details of the drawings and one of my students, Diksha, enlarged those. It took almost a month and a half to paint the tunnel,” Chatterjee said.

The professor has received several awards, including Rashtriya Sawasti Samman, Shikhar Samman and Hindu Rattan Award.

source by: Press Trust of India News

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