Udhampur: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said work on projects worth Rs 7,000 crore would be started by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways over the next two years in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I want to assure you that in coming two years we will start work worth Rs 7,000 crore in the state,” he said at a rally after the inauguration of Asia’s longest road tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
“I am happy that the Prime Minister has dedicated the biggest road tunnel to the nation,” he said after Modi inaugurated the Chenani-Nashri tunnel, which will reduce the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by around two hours and the distance by 31 kilometres.
“We are working on 13 new projects in Jammu and Kashmir and I hope that it will further strengthen the road network and road communication for people,” the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways said.
He said work on ring roads in Jammu and Srinagar would start in the next three months.
“I am happy to announce that ring roads in Jammu and Srinagar, costing around Rs 2,100 crore and Rs 2,200 crore respectively, are going to be constructed.
“Tenders have been floated for the Jammu ring road, while that for the Srinagar ring road will be floated in next two months and within three months, the work will start on both the projects,” he added.
The Centre will also float a tender for construction of the Zojila tunnel which will cost around Rs 6,000 crore in the next two months, Gadkari said, adding with the construction of the tunnel, the highway to Leh and Kargil districts of the Ladakh region will become an all-weather road.
“The Prime Minister had announced a package of Rs 24,160 crore for Jammu and Kashmir, out of which, I am happy to announce, projects worth Rs 4,463 crore have been implemented,” he said.
“I want to assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the Prime Minister’s focus and vision is to make India a vibrant and strong country,” he said, adding “the PM wants to build best infrastructure in the country which will be no less than that of any other country.”
On the newly inaugurated tunnel, Gadkari said, “This tunnel will result into job creation, the state’s hotels, motels and related businesses will get a boost and that will create new job opportunities for unemployed youths of Kashmir.”
“The Chenani-Nashri tunnel is a state-of-the-art project. It will boost tourism and increase employment potential and ensure supply of essential goods. It is a revolutionary step.
“It is a very proud moment for all of us. Sophisticated electronic arrangements of global standard were made,” the minister added.