NEW DELHI: Minister for R&B, Gardens, Parks and Floriculture, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Thursday met Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways (RT&H), Mr Nitin Gadkari here and discussed matters related to the road communication sector in Jammu and Kashmir with the union Minister.
The Minister of State for Public Works Mr Sunil Kumar Sharma besides three Members of the Parliament, Mr. Fayaz Ahmad Mir, Mr. Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mr. Shamsher Singh Manhas were also present in the meeting.
Underlining the urgency of better road connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir with a mosaic of geographical diversity, hilly and inaccessible terrains, remoteness of areas and weather vagaries, Mr Bukhari highlighted the importance of this sector for overall development and economic welfare of the State.
The Minister, while emphasizing the need for early completion of 4-lane National Highway Project, also laid stress on up-gradation and improvement of existing Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
Mr. Bukhari raised the issue of declaration of Mughal Road and other major roads of the state as National Highways. He also raised the issue of construction of tunnels on various routes including a tunnel at Peer Ki Gali on Mughal Road, Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel, Lolab-Bandipora tunnel and the Sudh-Mahadev tunnel connecting Marmath of Doda district. The proposals for the construction of these tunnels have already been submitted to the Union Government. Mr Gadkari assured that the union ministry for Road Transport and Highways will have examine these proposals.
Syed Altaf also sought enhancement of limited Central Road Funds (CRF) scheme for various projects other than the 13 projects already submitted to the union ministry costing Rs 274 Crore. He also discussed the allotment of funds to the State under CRF Scheme and sought its rationalization.
The Minister also raised the issue of delay in completion of Sopore Bridge and Parimpora to Narbal road, saying that the work by the central agencies is going on a snail pace. He urged the union minister to pull up the Border Roads Organization (BRO) for the early completion of these two projects for the convenience of the general public.
The Minister for Public Works vehemently stressed on approval of more projects under Inter State Connectivity plans and got approval for one more Inter State connectivity project Basohli-Bani-Bhadarwah costing Rs 197 Crores in addition to already agreed upon funds by the union ministry. He sought speedy completion of National Highway project by the Central Agencies and mentioned the delays in completion of works at Srinagar-Qazigund stretch. He urged the Union Minister for taking up the work of two more sub projects of Banihal-Ramban section and Ramban Udhampur section for which the funds have already been approved by the central government.
Reassuring full support to the Jammu and Kashmir Government, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways agreed to enhance the sanctioned allocations under CRF to a total of Rs 480 Crores for current fiscal and asked for a Detailed Project Reports of the projects other than the already submitted 13 projects including up-gradation of old Airport road from Bypass to Rangreth and Dang-Duru to Hanzal Marwah in Kishtwar. The Union Ministry for Road Transport agreed in principal to handover Srinagar-Baramulla highway to the state Public Works department.
Mr. Bukhari is also scheduled to meet the Union Minister for Rural Development to discuss issues related to Prime Minister’s Grameen Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) in the evening.