Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has met Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Nitin Gadkari for allocation of funds to enable timely completion of the proposed Chattergala tunnel which will connect district Kathua with district Doda in Jammu & Kashmir, enroute the new Highway via Basohli-Bani through Chattergalla to touch Bhaderwah and Doda. This is going to be a historic landmark project providing all-weather alternate road connectivity between the two distant regions and reducing the travel time from Doda to Lakhanpur to just around four hours.Chattergala Project envisages a 6.8 Km long tunnel for which the Feasibility Survey has already been conducted by Border Roads Organisation (BRO). The tunnel is likely to take about 4 years for completion after the execution work starts and its construction cost is around Rs. 3,000 crores.Since the BRO was facing some constraints of funds, Dr Jitendra Singh met Gadkari here and requested for financial support to BRO through Bharatmala or any other appropriate channel from the MoRTH. Gadkari's response was positive and he issued instructions to work out how best this could be done.
Meanwhile, Dr Jitendra Singh has impressed upon the BRO Chief Lt Gen Rajeev Choudhary to expedite the Chattergala project as fast as possible. He said, Chattergala is going to be a revolutionary game changer, particularly for the districts Kathua and Doda. He said, this will not only generate revenue but also job generation.Moreover, the all-weather road connectivity will bring ease of business, shorten the travel time and also provide a unique opportunity for places like Bani and Bhaderwah to emerge as tourist destinations of national repute, he added.Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the demand for the tunnel at Chattergalla had been pending for several years, but somehow not taken up by earlier governments because of their different priorities.Udhampur-Kathua-Doda Lok Sabha constituency has witnessed unprecedented progress in road and bridge construction in the last over six years, the notable among them being Atal Setu at Basohli, Keediyan Gadyal and Juthana bridges in Kathua, Devika Bridge at Udhampur, new Highway from Khilani-Marmat in Doda to Sudhmahadev and Kaljugar tunnel.The other ongoing BRO projects in the constituency include construction of road from Bhagwa to Lal-Darman to Masal-Dushnan in district Doda, Chkramore-Maharajpur-Rajbagh-Haria Chak road in district Kathua and upgradation of Phatala to Jakhani road in district Udhampur. Gen Choudhary also gave Dr. Jitendra Singh a brief about a dozen BRO road and bridge projects coming in his Lok Sabha constituency.