Stating that construction works for the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is Government of India’s priority, the Union Minister for Roads, Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, Tuesday said that the central government is also committed to provide ample funding for the Highways and other roads. “I have directed the authorities to pick up the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on priority. The maintenance of this Highway will be completed within a short period of time with the issue having been taken up by the agencies that are responsible its maintenance. RMKY and other construction agency, has also been directed to complete the four-lanning work within a time frame , The union transport minister told KNS over phone from New Delhi. It is to mention here that Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had recently met the Nitin Gadkari at New Delhi and had expressed his serious concern about the critical condition of National Highway. Gadkari further told KNS that GOI will soon depute high-level team to Jammu and Kashmir to review the condition of highway and internal road network in the state. “To check the work on National highway and other roads of JK special team will be send soon,” he said. He said that main focus will be to make NH 1-A roadworthy so that people do not face any problems. “ Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream is to lay massive roads and bridge network in all regions of Jammu and Kashmir to expedite all round and equitable development. This state will be provided liberal funding and in contrast to its usual allocation of Rs 150 Cr under CRF, the Union Government has approved a whopping Rs 960 Cr out of which Rs 400 Cr is allocated each for Kashmir and Jammu provinces, while Rs 160 Cr has been earmarked for Leh in Ladakh,” he said. He informed that Srinagar-Qazigund stretch is likely to be completed by June next year. “It has been directed to carry out 75 per cent of the four-laning work by December this year and complete the work by June next year. It was among the several projects on the highway to be upgraded as part of the national highway corridor from Srinagar to Kanyakumari. The Udhampur-Jammu stretch of the highway had been completed while works on other stretches are in the progress,” he informed. The Union Minister also said that the Central government is concerned about the increasing number of road accidents in Jammu and Kashmir. “Road accidents, especially on National Highway in Jammu and Kashmir, are assuming alarming proportions. The hilly State of Jammu and Kashmir is not the lone example where the National Highway and other link roads pass over hills and gorges. The authorities in the Jammu and Kashmir should go tough against the traffic violators and should constitute special checking squads to the increasing road accidents,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch