Press Trust of india

Jitendra Singh reviews progress of highway, road projects in J-K

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New Delhi: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday reviewed the progress of several highway and road projects in Jammu and Kashmir with National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Managing Director K K Pathak and asked him to expedite the work.

Pathak assured the minister that all the ongoing projects would be completed in a time-bound manner, though some work got hampered due to COVID-19 and time-line has to be increased, a statement issued by the Personnel Ministry said.

Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi allocated the highest-ever budget of more than Rs 1,08,621 crore for Jammu and Kashmir.

He said it will help in rebuilding the economy, create jobs and will usher in all-round development in the Union Territory.

Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel and the Lok Sabha member from Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur constituency, said that after August 5, 2019, there is a visible change in every field, whether related to unfinished projects, implementation of centrally sponsored schemes, infrastructure development and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Centre announced abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and its bifurcation into union territories on August 5, 2019.

Pathak informed Singh that the work on most of the 17 highway projects with a sanctioned cost of over Rs 15,385 crore is going on smoothly, it said.

Out of 17 approved projects, 12 are in Jammu region and five in Kashmir region.

Singh noted that out of 12 such projects, six major ones are in his Lok Sabha constituency of Udhampur-Kathua-Doda, the statement said.

These include Chenani-Sudhmahadev road, Goha-Khellani package 1 and 2, Goha-Khellani package 3 that is Khellani tunnel and Khillani-Khanabal package-2, it said.

The minister said that out of six prospective projects to be awarded in near future, five are in the Jammu region and here also Sudhmahadev-Daranga tunnel package 1 and 2 fall in his parliamentary constituency, the statement said.

In March this year, Singh had met Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari for allocation of funds to enable timely completion of the proposed Chattergala tunnel which will connect Kathua with Doda, it said.

This is going to be a historic project providing an all-weather alternative road connectivity between the two distant regions and reducing the travel time from Doda to Lakhanpur to just around four hours, the statement said.

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