Ramban: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari Tuesday said that the mega road projects in Jammu and Kashmir would lead to development and generate employment avenues for the locals.
Inspecting the Srinagar-Banihal section of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Union Minister of State (MoS) V K Singh and Union MoS Jitendra Singh, Gadkari expressed confidence that the completion of road projects would be followed by huge development, generating employment and eradicating poverty from J&K.
“The highway will have socio-economic benefits for J&K. We are constructing road projects at Rs 1.25 lakh crore. There are 20 to 22 proposals of ropeways and cable cars worth Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000. J&K will be self-reliant and prosperous,” he said.
Gadkari also inaugurated the 925-meter Peeda-Kunfer Tunne’s Tube-1 and threw it open for traffic.
He said that the tunnel’s Tube-2 would also be ready within two months.
Gadkari said that five tunnels had come up in the 45-km stretch of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway of which one had been inaugurated while work on the other four tunnels would be completed by March 2024.
He said that of the other four tunnels, one more would be completed within two months.
Gadkari said that after the completion of Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and development of other road infrastructure, there would be a four-fold rise in the footfall of tourists to Kashmir. He also conducted a breakthrough of Sita Rama Passi, Maroog via virtual mode through a controlled blast in the tunnel.
Gadkari said that a tunnel project had been given to TATA. “It will take some time but after the completion, the travel time on the highway will be restricted to just four to five hours. The travel time from Delhi to Srinagar will be just 8 hours while the travel time from Delhi to Katra will be 6 hours,” he said. Gadkari said that to ease the travel between Srinagar and Jammu, three corridors were being built at a cost of Rs 35,000 crore.
“Under this, the first corridor from Jammu to Udhampur-Ramban-Banihal and further to Srinagar includes the section from Srinagar to Banihal. This four-lane road of 250-km length is being built at a cost of Rs 16,000 crore. Of this, four-laning of the 210-km route has been completed including 10 tunnels of 21.5 km,” he said.