The work to widen the 80-Km long Theog-Hatkoti-Rohroo National Highway in the heart of apple belt will be over by June 30, Himachal Pradesh Revenue minister Kaul Singh Thakur said today. Replying to a question in Vidhan Sabha on behalf of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, he said a provision of Rs 322.76 crore had been made for the project and till date Rs 250 crore had been spent and the work is in progress. Terming the NH as a "very important" road, he said tenders had to be floated twice and enough work had been completed. Of the 48-km stretch from Theog to Kharapatthar, cutting was being done on 17.50 Km length, tarring had been completed on 35 Km length. He said 31 out of 218 small bridges have been constructed and work was in progress on 56 bridges, so far, one out of seven major bridges had been constructed. Replying to a question of the Congress' Mohan Lal Brakta, Thakur said that cutting on 29.90 Km length had been completed between Kharapatthar and Rohroo, tarring had been done of 28 Km length and 109 out 125 small bridges have been constructed. He said that the project was funded by the World Bank as a result Rs 90 crore have been saved. Replying to another question of the BJP's Vinod Kumar, Industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri said that the Skill Development Scheme, for skill development of the youths, was launched by the government and fully-funded by the state government and Rs 100 crore had been provided under the scheme. He said, so far, Rs 124 crore had been spent on the scheme and 1,62,553 youth had benefited. As many as 19,775 youth, including 2,452 in Nachan assembly constituency benefited from the scheme, Agnihotri added. He said no money has been received from the Centre under the scheme and all those in the age group of 16 to 36 years and having annual income upto Rs 2 lakh were eligible for a scholarship of Rs 1000 per month.
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