Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs & Department of Information and Public Relations, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali called upon Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari at New Delhi to discuss various road projects including four-lanning of Jammu – Poonch highway and Budhal-Shopian road.Zulfkar Ali presented memorandum of demands to Union Minister and apprised him with various prestigious road projects in Pir Panjal area of Rajouri and Poonch.The Minister apprised Gadkari that Union Government in July 2015 approved construction of eight new national highways, including Jammu-Akhnoor-Nowshera-Rajouri-Poonch (NH 144-A). He added the same project was later included in Prime Minister Development Project announced on 7th of November 2015 and subsequently an amount of Rs 5100 crore was earmarked for its construction.The Minister briefed that the work on the road has not been started as yet. Highlighting the importance of the road, Zulfkar Ali said that the road connects two important vital districts with the rest of the State and is regularly being used by Army and security forces guarding the Line of Control. He added that Prime Minister during his visit to District Poonch in connection with Assembly elections in December 2014 had also announced four-lanning of Jammu- Rajouri-Poonch Road.Requesting Union Government to initiate work on the project on priority basis, the Minister said that instructing construction agency should not only start work on the project soon, but should also be directed to complete the same in a time bound manner.He briefed Union Minister that State Government is laying special emphasis on rapid development of State’s infrastructure particularly road connectivity. The Minister said the State government is seriously considering proposal for construction of road from Budhal to Shopian as it will provide connectivity to the people residing in Budhal and Mahore areas of Districts of Rajouri and Reasi.The Minister said that the construction of the road will provide flip to tourism sector as there are a number of lakes and meadows falling along the proposed road. He added that Chief Minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti during her meeting with Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping recently projected this demand. The project is important not only for the transport purposes but will also provide inter-regional connectivity and boost the socio-economic development of the three districts namely Rajouri, Reasi and Shopian, the Minister said. He further added that about 15 lakh population of the State will be benefited by this road. The Minister said that it has been proposed to construct 90 kms all weather road from Budhal (Raj Nagar) to Shopian for double lane specifications as per IRC and guidelines of MORTH. The project estimates to cost Rs 305 crores and shall be completed in three years.Discussing construction of Palma-Mandir Gala Road, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said that proposed road that takes off from Rajouri to Budhal will benefit about 35,000 souls of six villages and its adjoining helmets. He briefed that the economic activity of public in the area is agriculture, and cattle raring, and the construction of the road shall provide better transport facility to the residents of the area. He requested for conforming to IRC codes and MORTH specifications separately, besides road protection work and CD X-drainage works as per necessity at site are also required to be constructed.The Minister also took up Kha to Kharian road issue with Union Minister. He said that Kotranka is located 31 kms east of district Rajouri. Giving details, Zulfkar Ali said the place is located in between the main Pir Panchal Range of mountains with 65% population mainly belong to scheduled tribe category and are living below poverty line. He said that serious efforts are being made for the development of the area by creating infrastructural facilities which include mainly construction of road linkage. He added that Budhal area has good potential from the tourist point of view. Its scenic beauty can attract tourists from the State as well as from outside the State besides there is need of development of the area for tourism purposes, adding it will improve the living standard of the people of the area.The Minister said that the proposed road connects the village Kharian located on the east-west of Koteranka tehsil. He added that construction of the proposed new road for a length of 15 kms is to be constructed under CRF.Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari listened to the demand patiently and assured J&K Minister that they will look into these demands and provide every possible help.