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Dr Farooq reviews status of work on Zojila, Z-Morh tunnels

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Demands skilled, unskilled jobs for locals

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and Member of Parliament from Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, on Monday visited the under-construction Zojila and Z-Morh tunnel projects near Sonamarg and reviewed the status of ongoing work there.

During the breadth of his visit to the ongoing tunnel projects, Dr. Farooq interacted with the concerned officers and other staff as well.

On the occasion, he met scores of locals who apprised him about the plethora of issues concerning them.

The locals urged Dr Farooq that they should be given first preference in the job opportunities in the projects.

During the course of his interaction with the local people and other party workers on the occasion, Dr Farooq echoed the sentiments of the local people and assured them that he will take up the matter with Union minister Nitin Gatkari.

The party president was accompanied by Provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, Senior leader Mian Altaf Ahmed and Political advisor to Vice President Tanvir Sadiq.

Later, Dr Farooq travelled through the under-construction Z Morh tunnel thereby becoming the first political leader to cross the Z-Morh tunnel.

Echoing the sentiments of locals, he said that the construction companies should engage both skilled and unskilled local youth in the projects, saying that the locals should have first stake in such projects. He further said that the projects will give a flip to the whole set of economic activities in the region and transform the state of people from that of despondency to opulence. “I express my gratitude to the executing agencies, engineers and scores of workers who have been working day in and day out on the projects. I hope the projects will give a flip to the tourism potential of the Sonmarg-Kargil-Ganderbal circuit and bring more out of sight places in the region on the tourist map of the country,” he said.

“Giving locals opportunities in the projects on different accounts will indeed help them step up economically. Such tunnels and highways are critical to the development of any nation.  It is a milestone that will provide faster connectivity and usher in prosperity to the people living in these areas. Such all-weather connectivity is much needed in this part of the world as the people living in the upper reaches have to face many hardships to even avail even basic facilities like health care and essential food supplies,” he said.

Dr Farooq while interacting with the media demanded fast-track construction of Dessan-Kapran, Semthan, Razdan, and Sadhna pass tunnels, urging the government to expedite the construction on the said projects. “Such major connectivity projects go a long way in bringing more and more far-flung projects on the tourist map of the country and the world,” he said.

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