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INDIA’s Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said that the construction of 25 National Highway projects in Jammu and Kashmir will provide impetus to the travel and tourism sector and also generate employment opportunities for the people in the Union Territory.
“The construction of these road projects will save time and fuel. New employment opportunities will be created in Jammu & Kashmir, tourism of the region will get a boost, and social and economic development of the people of the region will be accelerated”, he said while laying foundation stones of 25 National Highway projects in Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) worth Rs 11,721 Crores, at the Sports Stadium, Doda. Union Minister of State (MoS) (I/c), Ministry of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy & Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, J-K Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha and MP Jugal Kishore Sharma also laid the foundation for the projects with Gadkari.
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, while speaking on the occasion said that the Union Territory of J-K has a “huge tourism potential which will finally reap the benefits of upcoming modern road infrastructure projects.”
These projects will prove as an important lifeline for the development of the industrial sector too, he added.
Observing that under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the central government is committed to the all-round development of the Union Territory, Gadkari assured that road network works worth Rs one lakh crore within next two years will give a boost to the socio-economic development of J-K.
Addressing the gathering, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed his gratitude to the Union Minister for laying the foundation of 25 new National Highway projects and taking a keen interest in the continuous strengthening of road infrastructure across the region.
On the occasion, Sinha also secured the inclusion of six more road projects for Jammu and one project for Kashmir division under the National Highways and Bharatmala category. The inclusion of six Road projects in the Jammu division will give a massive push to the economic growth and industrial development, besides tapping the tourism potential in the region.
New roads connecting each other in J&K
These newly included road projects are: Kathua-Basholi-Bani-Bhaderwah-Doda (170 KM); Doda-Bhaderwah-Chamba (Himachal Road) (132 KM); Dayalachak-Challan-Billawar-Mahanpur-Basohli (118 KM); Tawi Bridge-Jammu Airport-Miran Sahib-R.S.Pura Suchetgarh (Old Jammu-Sialkot Road) (29 KM); Surankote-Bafliaz-Shopian-Srinagar (Mughal Road) (145 KM); Atholi(Kishtwar)-Machail-Zanskar Road (Kargil); Narabal-Tangmarg-Gulmarg-Baramulla (70 KM).
Underscoring that a robust road network and modern transportation is the key to economic growth, the prosperity of the region and transformation in every sphere of life, the Lieutenant Governor said that the foundations of Rs 11,721 crore National Highways projects laid by the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister besides seven new projects will pave the way for sustainable development in J-K.
“The new mega road projects will open up new livelihood avenues for the local population and enhance tourism & business activities, besides strengthening the strategic grid by ensuring all-weather connectivity”, he added.
Sinha said that the 25 National Highway projects will connect all the villages of Udhampur, Doda, Jammu, Kathua, uplifting thousands of small and big businesses.
“I am confident that these projects will prove to be an important economic lifeline and highways of progress and prosperity for Jammu division”, he observed.
Sinha said that after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, the execution of new roads, tunnels and other basic Infrastructure has gained a huge push to ensure the overall development of J-K under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also noted that the progress of construction of new roads have been doubled across the J-K under the guidance of Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari.
Noting that roads are now being built at twice the speed as before, Sinha said that there has been a radical change in its progress under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. “Last year, 2402 km of road was constructed under PMGSY in Jammu division. Since August 2019, taking into account the figures of October 2021, 3885 km length of road has been built under PMGSY in Jammu division alone. 109 projects have been completed in the Jammu division at a cost of Rs 455 crore, including 14 bridges. Apart from this, 9 bridges worth Rs 19 crores have been completed under various other schemes,” he added.
The Lieutenant Governor said that infrastructure development and raising the standard of living of the common man is an important part of the overall economic priorities of the GoI and the J&K UT government. “Now macadamisation of the road is also taking place at double or triple times the speed as compared to earlier. In 2019, 2290 km of road was blacktopped, while last year, 5136 km of road was macadamized. This year a target of macadamisation of 8000 km of road has been set,” he added.
Minister of State (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh also addressed the gathering and said that this is the historic day for the Chenab region that 25 new NH projects are launched. He said that the central government has framed a separate road map for the development of the union territory and to accelerate the developmental scenario, new bridges, roads, tunnels are being built on war footing involving thousands of crores.
He said that the Centre is giving special focus to the areas which were neglected in the last seven decades by the earlier political parties. He said the present dispensation has established a new political culture by executing projects as per the demands and requirements of the people to ensure equitable and inclusive development in Jammu & Kashmir. (ANI)