Kashmir Indepth

Govt fast- tracks road projects to bolster connectivity in JK UT

Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Kashmir News Service Report
Srinagar, Oct 18: As winter draws near, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir is intensifying its endeavors to accelerate the advancement of a multitude of road projects designed to enhance connectivity throughout the Union Territory.

These initiatives, aimed at improving road infrastructure and reducing travel time, hold significant promise for Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
Officials in the power corridors told news agency KNS that multiple projects are currently in full swing and some are in the final stages of execution.

“The administration is keen on ensuring that these road projects are completed within specified timeframes, with an emphasis on enhancing connectivity among various regions within the Union Territory,” the officials said.

Recognizing the pivotal role of these highways in economic development, the government is taking a proactive approach. The projects are anticipated to boost trade and commerce by facilitating the movement of people and goods, with the tourism sector standing to reap substantial benefits upon their completion.

“To ensure a seamless execution, the government is calling for close collaboration between executing agencies and different government departments. Regular dialogues and efficient issue resolution processes are being encouraged to keep the projects on track without delays,” they said.
The government has also urged executing agencies to take ownership of these vital national projects and demonstrate a steadfast commitment to their timely completion.

Recently, the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha reviewed the progress made in constructing various national highways and was briefed on the challenges faced during project implementation. The LG has assured executing agencies of unwavering support from the government to overcome these challenges.
One of the prominent highway projects, the Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri Highway, is seeing a smooth land acquisition process, with significant land portions already compensated. This development bodes well for the overall progress of the project.

Officials have projected that in the near future, the journey from Srinagar to Jammu will be reduced to just three hours, while the travel time from Katra to Delhi will be cut to six hours, and from Delhi to Srinagar to eight hours. These significant reductions in travel time are expected to have a positive
impact on the region’s connectivity and accessibility.

Notably, the construction of the Srinagar-Banihal section of the Udhampur-Ramban-Banihal roadway is proceeding at full tilt, aiming to provide all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar, regardless of winter weather conditions.

The central government is also actively involved in overseeing the development of three major corridors at an estimated cost of ?35,000 crore. These corridors encompass the section from Jammu to Udhampur-Ramban-Banihal, continuing on to Srinagar and including the stretch from Srinagar to Banihal.

Once completed, these roadways are expected to significantly reduce travel time between Srinagar and Jammu, slashing it from the current 9-10 hours to a much more manageable 4-5 hours. A particularly vital component of this project is a 40 km four-lane road between Ramban and Banihal, set to be completed by June 2024, offering substantial relief to commuters traveling from Srinagar.
The completion of all tunnels within these corridors will further expedite travel and establish a crucial link between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country, ultimately enhancing connectivity, trade, and tourism prospects for the region.(KNS)

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