8 more tunnels to make J&K NHs all-weather roads - watsupptoday.com
8 more tunnels to make J&K NHs all-weather roads
Posted 27 Mar 2017 10:40 AM

Agencies

Union Minister for Road and Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari today announced that a total of eight tunnels are being constructed on Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Leh, Kishtwar-Anantnag and Mughal Road, all connecting rest of the world with the Kashmir valley, two of which, apart from Chenani-Nashri tunnel, will be completed this year, which will sharply cut down the travel time on major Highways and roads in Jammu and Kashmir.

Very shortly, he said, the Centre Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will announce launch of Delhi-Katra Expressway via Haryana and Punjab, which will help people cover 12-hour distance in just five and a half hours. He added that the road networks amounting to Rs 55,000 crores were being executed in the sensitive border State of Jammu and Kashmir, which will boost tourist and employment opportunities besides infrastructure in the entire State.

Ahead of his visit to Udhampur district on April 2 along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh for inauguration of Chenani-Nashri tunnel, Gadkari, in a comprehensive interview to DD News this afternoon, said the Central Government was going all out to boost infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir including National Highways, tunnels, road network etc to develop the State, which was pre-requisite for attracting more tourists, the mainstay of employment in the State.

Disclosing that projects worth Rs 55,000 crores worth were under execution in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Minister for Road and Surface Transport said after Chenani-Nashri tunnel, which he described as state-of-the art project in the country, two more tunnels will be completed this year.

A total of eight tunnels are being constructed on the four National Highways including Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Leh, Kishtwar-Srinagar and Rajouri-Poonch-Shopian Mughal road, he said, adding all the tunnels, when constructed will sharply cut down travel distance to Kashmir and Ladakh and attract more national as well as international tourists to the State.

Gadkari also announced start of work in the next two months on Ring Roads of Jammu and Srinagar, which, he said, have been approved and land acquisition work on them was in progress.
“As soon as the land acquisition work is completed, we will start construction of Ring Roads, which will ease traffic congestion in Jammu and Srinagar cities, which serve as rotational capital cities of the State,’’ he said, adding all other formalities for the Ring Roads have been completed.

He also announced that New Delhi-Katra Expressway, which has been proposed by his Ministry, would be a reality soon and it will act as parallel National Highway. It will link historic and religious cities of Amritsar and Katra while distance from Delhi to Katra will be reduced to just five and a half hour. From Katra to Srinagar, it will be another four-hour journey.

Castigating previous Governments at the Centre for lacking will on development of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Minister said this was for the first time that 16 major works have been approved for Jammu and Kashmir in the State, which will go a long way in developing the State.

“Our priority is to make Jammu and Kashmir a developed State, make it a much better tourist destination, create employment opportunities for the youth and overcome poverty. This will be a reality very soon the way Narendra Modi Government is taking one after the other initiatives for the State,’’ Gadkari said.
He said the problem with Jammu and Kashmir was that some of its roads were “fair weather roads’’ and tourists didn’t come to the State in large numbers for the fear of getting stranded.

“Now, we are going to make “all season roads’’, which will increase tourism and, in turn, create jobs for the unemployed youth,’’ he added.
Citing an American example that “America is rich because American roads are good’’, Gadkari said: “we want to make our roads good to make the people rich’’. When roads are good, the Per Capita Income will go up, he added.

Replying to a political question, Gadkari said some political parties had created fear psychosis among a particular section in the Kashmir Valley that the BJP Government will do injustice to them.
“With massive development, we have removed this fear psychosis,’’ he said.
He elaborated in detail the features of Chenani-Nashri tunnel and also reiterated that work on Zojila tunnel to make Leh-Srinagar an all weather Highway, will be launched soon.

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