Chinese firm resumes road projects in Himachal

December 5th, 2009 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Dec 5 (IANS) Work on two World Bank-funded roads, undertaken by a Chinese firm, has resumed in Himachal Pradesh, nearly two months after the employees of the firm had to go back to China after their visas were revoked, a government official said Saturday.
“Longjian Road and Bridge Company Ltd has resumed the work for the construction of two major road projects. These projects have already fallen behind schedule,” Public Works Minister Gulab Singh Thakur told IANS.

Work on the Mehatpur-Una-Amb and Theog-Kotkhai-Hatkoti-Rohru road projects had come to a standstill after Chinese nationals left for home in the last week of September.

The Chinese were forced to return to their country after the government’s new visa policy came into effect in August. Under the policy, the Chinese are not allowed to work in the country on business visas.

Thakur said company’s director Liu Shujan met him here Friday and promised to speed up the work as 11 employees of the company had been granted visa by the Indian government.

The contract for two roads, measuring 125 km and worth Rs.354 crore, were given in June 2008 and were to be completed by November 2010.

However, so far less than 10 percent of the total work has been completed.

“At present, only a limited number of work visas have been given to the Chinese. So the company will employ Indian manpower to complete the projects,” Thakur said.

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