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Expedite work on Jammu-Srinagar highway before onset of winter: Gul to Admin

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Seeks establishment of 100 bedded Covid hospital near Banihal railway station, call for comprehensive Covid revival package for locals

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Tuesday sought renewed push to NH-44, four laning of 32.10 Km of Ramban –Banihal, and 67.76 Km Srinagar-Banihal sections on Srinagar –Jammu highway, asking the government to utilize the current summer months to achieve the long-pending targets.

“We have been hearing for all these years that the work on the up gradation of Srinagar-Jammu highway is underway but due to the missing of project deadlines due to the intermittent halts on the work due to long winter months which make any such activity on the entire stretch of road impossible,” said Party Senior leader and former Assembly Speaker Mubarak Gul while expressing concern over the “laidback attitude” of the government in utilization of the summer months to complete the work.

He said that administration needs to carry out the remaining work on the sole stretch of highway connecting Jammu–Srinagar in double shifts during the current summer season as it becomes very difficult for the concerned authorities to carry out the construction work during winter months which he said are usually marred by inclement weather. “Come winters and the highway woes again stir up. The condition of the entire road stretch has worsened since 2014 and in wake of any affirmative action by the concerned authorities the situation poses great threat to lives of commuters particularly during rainy seasons and long drawn winter months. Far from utilizing the ongoing winter months to refurbish the highway, the concerned authorities are sitting on their hands.”

“The issues are a typical case in point which underscores the policy paralysis in incumbent JK administration and failure on its part to streamline the projects on their importance. Now when winter approaches, the highway woes will again stir up causing immense mental and physical trauma to commuters and scarcity of essentials in Kashmir division. It would have been better if the impending work on the highway, the much-required repairs and reinforcements are taken into hand by the concerned agencies immediately during the ongoing but short-lived summer months,” he said.

Gul also urged the administration to come up with a 100 bedded Covid Hospital for district Ramban near Banihal railway station as the place is centrally located in the district. He impressed upon the administration to speed up the up gradation and augmentation of all health facilities in the entire district.

He also urged the incumbent JK administration to provide suitable employment opportunities to the locals who he said have been out of work by the closedown of the work on the highway and Covid-19 crises.

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