New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a 1210-meter span-bridge over the river Ravi in Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir. While dedicating the bridge to the Nation, Gadkari said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Government had set a new mark in timely delivery of public goods by completing various projects on or before time. He said that the Government was focussed on providing corruption free and transparent governance to the people without compromising quality. Gadkari said this at a public rally after inaugurating the bridge at village Keerian Gandial in Kathua on River Ravi along with Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Satyapal Malik. Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, and Department of Space Dr. Jitendra Singh, Advisor to Governor Sh K.K. Sharma and Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam were also present on the occasion.
The bridge over Ravi at Keerian – Gandial will benefit over 2,20,000 people living on the two sides – Kathua in Jammu, and Pathankot in Punjab. It will reduce the distance between the two cities from 45 kms to 8.6 kms, which will save on both time and fuel cost. The Keerian – Gandial bridge has been constructed at a cost of Rs 158.84 crore to improve inter-state connectivity.
Giving a detail about the ongoing highways projects in Jammu and Kashmir Shri Gadkari said that the NH network in Jammu and Kashmir has seen an increase of 969 kms in the last four years. The total length of NHs in the State was 1695 kms in 2014, which has gone up to 2664 kms in 2018. Number of NHs has also gone up from seven to 14 in the same period. New NHs of 969 kms were announced during the period. In addition, four State roads of 400 kms have also been approved.
Two major road corridors are being built in J&K– Jammu–Srinagar and Srinagar–Leh. The Chenani-Nashri tunnel road under the first is the largest highway tunnel in the country. It has resulted in reducing the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two and a half hours, while the distance between the two has come down by 30 kms. The tunnel is benefitting by way of making travel possible throughout the year and saving of upto Rs 27 lakh worth fuel on the route.
A 62-km long 4-lane ring road is being constructed in Srinagar city at a cost of Rs 1,860 crore. The road begins from Ganderbal on NH-44 and ends at Vayul on NH-1D. It will connect 54 villages in six districts. Also, about 25 per cent work on the 58.255 km 4-lane Jammu Ring Road has been completed. The total cost of this project is Rs 1,891 crore. The project involves construction of eight major bridges, 22 minor bridges, six flyovers, and two tunnels of 770 meters and 710 meters respectively.
Dr Jitendra Singh in his address said that the completion of various infrastructure project in the state was a manifestation of the slogan of ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’ given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that through the completion of the developmental projects in the state, J&K had become a part of the development journey of the Nation that is to continue in the years to come.