Governor N N Vohra today reviewed the progress of the upcoming Ring Road Projects which will open new economic opportunities and decongest vehicular traffic in the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar.Chairing a high-level meeting at the Civil Secretariat here this evening, Governor called upon the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the concerned Departments of the State Government to adopt a well-coordinated and focused approach for ensuring that the twin projects, part of the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), are completed within the stipulated timeframe of 3 years.Advisorsto Governor BB Vyas and Khurshid Ahmed Ganai and Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam participated in the meeting and made valuable suggestions on how to remove the bottlenecks and expedite the projects. Governor asked NHAI to ensure that both projects go ahead at full speedand promptly inform Chief Secretary if any difficulty was faced in implementation so that the same are addressed with a sense of urgency.The work on Jammu Ring Road Project started earlier this year and the work on Srinagar Project is expected to commence in the coming weeks.Officers said the total length of the project is 58.255 km in Jammu from Raya Morh to Nagrota of which 47.160 km are in the plains and 11.095 km fall in hilly areas. In Srinagar, the project length is 60.942 kms which will be taken up in two packages; one from Gallander which ends at Sumbal road junction (42.10 km length) and the second from Sumbal road junction to Wayul junction on existing NH-1D (19 km approx).
Governor asked the engineers to be imaginative in planning the road alignments as relatively longer roads may actually cost less than shorter roads which have more bridges and more culverts and which involve cutting of more trees. “We are committed to ensuring that the minimum number of trees, cultivable and forest land comes under mega-developmental projects in our eco-fragile state,” Governor observed. The NHAI, the executing agency for two projects, briefed Governor about the status of the work on the twin roads coming up at a cumulative cost of nearly Rs 4000 crores. The NHAI officers said that once the land is handed over to them in Kashmir, their engineering teams will urgently get down to the work and other issues relating to shifting of utilities, like electricity supply and water connections will also be resolved.Principal Secretary Planning, Development & Monitoring, Rohit Kansal, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, Commissioner Secretary PWD, Khurshid Ahmad Shah, Commissioner Secretary Revenue, Shahid Ananyatullah, Commissioner Secretary Forests, Saurabh Bhagat, District Development Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Abid Rasheed, District Development Commissioner Budgam, Dr Sehrish Asgar, Regional Head NHAI, Hem Raj, Chief Engineers and other concerned officers were also present in the meeting. Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma and Deputy Commissioners of Jammu, Samba, Ganderbal, Budgam, Bandipora, Pulwama and Baramulla attended the meeting through video-conferencing.