Govt nod to Rs 10,000 cr project on Sgr-Jmu highway hailed widely
Srinagar, Mar 8: The central government nod to Rs 10,000 crore four-laning project of Srinagar-Jammu highway, a part of the North-South Corridor, has been widely hailed by the business community in the Valley.
President Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shakeel Qalander, said the move was a major step towards ensuring infrastructure development in the state.
“This is something worth appreciation. We now look forward for the implementation of this project, for we have witnessed numerous accidents on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. Plus this highway is extremely vulnerable to weather vagaries which often cause its blockade for days and weeks at a stretch, by which people suffer a lot,” he said.
“Once this task is completed, I believe, this would help the people of the state a great deal,” he added.
Echoing Qalander’s views, Nazir A Dar, president Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said the move will help improve the connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is a very good step; we appreciate it,” added Dar.
He, however, said the allocation should not go waste like “in previous instances.”
“We don’t need only allocation, we want the work should be completed in a time-bound period,” Dar said.
“It has to be taken care of that the money does not get lapse as is the norm with other projects in Kashmir,” he said.
Secretary, Roads and Buildings, Mehboob Iqbal said a lot of efforts had been put in by chief minister Omar Abdullah and R&B minister for it.
“The task was pending for very long. The chief minister had raised this issue with the prime minister and union ministry of road of transport. Our R&B minister also held so many meetings for the same. And ultimately this project has been approved by the central government,” Iqbal said.
He said the process of qualification bids for the purpose was completed and that of price bids shall be done in March. “Hopefully in April the work will start,” he said.
Pertinently, the decision for implementation of projects for four-laning of the highway was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh the other day.
The total project cost is estimated at Rs 9,377.46 crore. With this, the Valley is expected to get all-weather connectivity. Besides, the journey time from Jammu to Srinagar is also likely to be reduced.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway is part of the North-South corridor project that was inaugurated by then prime minister A B Vajpayee in 2001 and is managed by the National Highways Authority of India under the ministry of road, transport and highways.
For road connectivity, three major centrally-sponsored schemes are presently being followed: North-South corridor four-laning from Kashmir to Kaniyakumari, Bharat Nirman that covers the whole rural road network of the country and JN-NURM (Jawaharlal Nehru- National Urban Renewal Mission), a massive city modernisation scheme.
“Under these schemes the state government has been receiving money from the centre for past many years. But as far as the North-South Corridor Project is concerned, for several years there has not been done much work in J&K on four-laning as in other states of India,” said Qalander.
“Previous year, the achievement on the North-South corridor in other states was 59 per cent, where as in our state it was less than 20 per cent,” he added.
He said earlier in 1998 the state government had sought proposals from foreign consultancies on the highway and consultants from Germany, Australia and other some other countries had filed their proposals.
“Then one of the consultancies had been selected which then prepared a project report for the Srinagar-Jammu highway, wherein it had suggested for all-weather four-lane road on this highway. And that was approved,” he said, adding that then subsequently the project was taken under the North-South corridor scheme.
“The state government had submitted this project to the central government and recently it has been given approval in a central budget meeting. And the state government has been told that they can start work on it from April 1,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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Srinagar, Mar 8: The central government nod to Rs 10,000 crore four-laning project of Srinagar-Jammu highway, a part of the North-South Corridor, has been widely hailed by the business community in the More