Jammu: Asserting that though the deadline for the Delhi Amritsar-Katra Green Corridor ExpressWay is December 2024, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that efforts will be made to complete the mega project before Parliamentary Elections to be held in May next year.
“As the Parliamentary elections are to be held in May, but we want to get this project be completed before deadline so that it can be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February-March 2024,” Gadkari told reporters while interacting with media at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Spiritual Growth Centre, in Katra town of Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was flanked by Union Ministers Dr Jitendra Singh, Dr V K Singh and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
“I have no hesitation in saying that the NHAI has been asked to complete the work before the imposition of Code of Conduct so that it can be inaugurated before Lok Sabha elections,” said Gadkari with a smile.
He said that as told by the executing agency, the 670-kilometre, four-lane Delhi Amritsar-Katra Green Corridor ExpressWay being constructed at the cost of Rs 40,000 crore will be completed in December 2024 but efforts will be doubled to complete it before elections.
The Union Minister said that InterModal Station (IMS) to be established in Katra will be a world class state of the art project constructed to improve travelling experience of the pilgrims visiting Shri MataVaishno Devi shrine.
Gadkari said developmental works worth Rs 1,30,000 crore are being taken up by MoRTH in Jammu and Kashmir and since 2014, around 500 km of road network has been completed in the region.
He said that 41 significant tunnels are being constructed in J&K and Ladakh at a cost of Rs 45,000 crore, 18 ropeways worth Rs 5,000 crore will be constructed in the UT.
The minister also informed that for the journey between Jammu and Srinagar three corridors worth Rs 35,000 crores are being constructed, which will reduce the earlier distance of 320 kms by 70 kms and time travel will be reduced from ten hours to four to five hours.
The minister also announced that 110 km long Amarnath Marg–leading to the holy Amarnath cave in Pahalgam will be built at a cost of around Rs 5300 crore for the convenience of the pilgrims going to Shri Amarnath Shrine.
Gadkari said, with the development of state of the art road network across the country through every state and UT, the Kashmir to Kanyakumari will no longer be a dream for the people of India.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, “the Banihal Ramban Highway stretch will become the hub of lavender cultivation giving rise to Agri-tech Start-ups.”
The others present during the interaction were Dr. V K Singh, MoS MoRTH, Lieutenant Governor J&K, Manoj Sinha and Secretary MoRTH, Alka Upadhyay.
Earlier the Union Minister with Lieutenant Governor, Union Ministers V.K. Singh and Jitendra Singh inspected Srinagar–Banihal section of Jammu to Udhampur-Ramban-Banihal to Srinagar National Highway (NH-44) being constructed to provide all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar.
To ease the travel between Jammu and Srinagar, 3 corridors are being built at a cost of Rs 35,000 crore. Under this, the first corridor from Jammu to Udhampur-Ramban-Banihal and further to Srinagar includes the section from Srinagar to Banihal.
This four-lane road of 250 km length is being built at a cost of Rs 16,000 crore. Out of this, 4-laning of 210 km route has been completed, including 10 tunnels of 21.5 km.
With the construction of this route, there will be all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar. Travel time from Srinagar to Jammu will be reduced from 9-10 hours to 4-5 hours. A carriage-way of 40 km 4-lane road between Ramban and Banihal will be completed by June 2024 which will provide relief to the commuters of Srinagar.