JAMMU: Union Minister for Roads and National Highways Nitin Gadkari today approved Rs 2528 crore worth funds for construction of National Highways and roads in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir including prestigious Chenani-Doda-Kishtwar-Khanabal National Highway which will provide an all weather road link from Jammu to Doda and Kishtwar districts.
Officials said Gadkari has approved three construction works on Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khellani-Kishtwar-Vailoo-Donipawa-Ashajipora section of National Highway 244 worth Rs 398.51 crore on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode in Jammu and Kashmir.
He has also approved construction work and up-gradation to two Lane with paved shoulder from start of Kishtwar bypass to end of Helmet Top bypass on Khellani-Chattroo-Khanabal section of National Highway-244 worth Rs 859.67 crore in Jammu and Kashmir under Package-VI.
Another work worth Rs 260.40 crore has been approved on Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khellani-Kishtwar-Vailoo-Donipawa-Ashajipora section of National Highway in Jammu and Kashmir, the officials said.
Under Package-II, the Union Minister for Roads and National Highways has approved Rs 512.43 crore for work on the same section of National Highway 244 in the Union Territory.
Gadkari has also approved construction of two Lane with paved shoulder on the same highway worth Rs 497.9 crore under National Highway (O) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh has extended thanks to Gadkari for approval of works on the National Highway.
“Thanks Respected Sh @nitin gadkari ji for responding to our proposal . #JammuAndKashmir,” Dr Jitendra Singh tweeted tagging Gadkari’s tweet on approval of funds for works on the National Highway which falls in his Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha constituency.
Marmat area in Doda district which got first degree college this year will also be linked for first time with the National Highway.
Dr Jitendra Singh said: “Neglected areas have been given priority without any vote bank consideration”.
He said survey has also been completed on Lakhanpur-Doda National Highway via Bani and Basohli through Chhatergalla tunnel.
Only few days back, Dr Jitendra Singh had met Nitin Gadkari and took with him the speedy construction of National Highway from Chenani to Doda and Kishtwar to give all-weather connectivity to the erstwhile Doda district as present Batote-Kishtwar National Highway sometimes get closed during snowfall in the winters or during Monsoon rains.
Official sources said construction of new National Highway from Chenani to Doda and Kishtwar via Sudhmahadev will not only provide alternate road connectivity to the people of erstwhile Doda district but will also connect prominent religious tourism station of Sudhmahadev dedicated to Lord Shiva with National Highway.
“Once Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Doda-Kishtwar National Highway is constructed, it will be used as the Main Highway for Doda and Kishtwar districts while existing Batote-Kishtwar Highway will be repaired and used as alternate road link and road for local villages which will reduce burden on it,” sources said.
Presently Batote-Kishtwar National Highway is the only road linking Jammu with Doda and Kishtwar districts and when the road is closed either during Monsoon or in winter because of snowfall, the twin districts are cut off from rest of the Union Territory.
It had been long pending demand of the people of Doda and Kishtwar districts for construction of alternate road link from Chenani. The proposal was approved by Nitin Gadkari during previous stint of Narendra Modi Government after Survey was conducted and Detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared.
Several other National Highways and road projects are also under construction in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir including Jammu-Akhnoor. Another National Highway from Akhnoor to Poonch-via Rajouri has also been approved which will be taken up shortly.
Jammu to Udhampur has already been linked with the National Highway while work on Udhampur onwards including right up to Srinagar is on, albeit slowly due to shooting stones and other factors. The Union Territory Government has also taken up the issue of early construction of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway with the Central Government including Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. (Agency)