Underlining the need to connect inaccessible habitations for achieving holistic development of the state, Union Minister for Roads, Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari today said that the central government has provisioned ample funding to pace up the network of roads and bridges in Jammu and Kashmir. “For the purpose the centre has earmarked Rs 960 Cr under Central Road Funds (CRF) which will bring about the much needed change in the connectivity scenario of the state in the shortest possible time” the Union Minister said while addressing a public gathering after laying foundation stone of 2-lane Pre Stressed Bridge over River Ravi here at village Bhagthali in Kathua today.
The 1210 m span bridge under Inter-State Connectivity (ISC) of CRF Scheme on its completion will provide shortest connectivity to the villages of J&K state situated on the other side of Ravi River by reducing the travel distance by 45 kms.The project with 7490 m double lane approach roads will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 158.84 Cr in 3 years time. The Union Transport Minister said NDA government at centre has carried forward the legacy of Ex Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vaajpayee to lay massive roads and bridge network across the country to expedite all round and equitable development. He said Jammu & Kashmir 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 Ladakh.
Nitin Gadkari also informed that under the CRF Initiatives, the centre has also sanctioned construction of Four Lane Jammu-Akhnoor road, Pampore-Uri Road , Jammu Bye pass road and all weather two tunnels in Leh-Ladakh.
Union Minister of state in PMO, Dr Jatindra Singh in his address said that with the completion of the bridge, a big habitation of Keerian Gandial block, hitherto deprived of direct link with district headquarter and state, will get the shortest connectivity.He said Bio Tech Park in Ghati, Arogya Gram Yojna in Basohli, Nagri –Palli road, Juthana Bridge, amenities worth Rs 34 lakh for Railway Station Kathua and sanctioning of one regional FM Channel are few prime projects which will help foster the development scenario of the Kathua district.Minister for Public Works, Floriculture and Parks Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari hailed the Union Government for providing liberal funding to the state under CRF. He said with the completion of bridge the traffic rush at Lakhanpur will be eased. He informed that the executing agency has been directed to complete the project well within the stipulated time.MLA Kathua Rajiv Jasrotia welcomed and thanked the Union Minister for taking up the bridge project. He also laid stress on taking up renovation of old Samba-Kathua road considering its strategic importance. He said the old Samba Kathua road will be parallel road connectivity to the National Highway and can provide alternate passage to the state.MP Jugal Kishore, MP Shamsher Singh Manhas, MOS for Public Works(R&B) & Revenue Sunil Kumar Sharma, MLA Hiranagar Kuldeep Kumar, Commissioner Secretary PWD (R & B) Rohit Kansal, DIG Jammu-Kathua Range Ashkoor Wani, MD JKPCC P.L Bhushan and DC Kathua Ajay Singh Jamwal were present on the occasion.