SRINAGAR, MAY 21, 2015 – Lt. Gen. R. M. Mittal, Director General (DG), Border Roads Organization (BRO), called on the Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, here this afternoon, and discussed various measures being taken by BRO to carry out repairs on National Highways (NHWs) and other vital roads looked after by it.
This follows their earlier meeting at New Delhi on May 4, during which the Chief Minister had highlighted the need for carrying out urgent repairs of NHW I-A.
Minister for Public Works, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Principal Secretary, P&D, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner / Secretary, Public Works, Rohit Kansal, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon and Chief Engineer, R&B, Kashmir, Satish Razdan, were also present on the occasion.
During the meeting, Mufti Sayeed stressed upon the need for repairing all strategic roads, so that the people who face extreme hardships are provided immediate sigh of relief. He said improvement in roads will also facilitate tourists and pilgrims during the ensuing Amarnath Yatra.
On the issue of expediting work on Srinagar-Anantnag road stretch on National Highway 1-A, Mufti Sayeed stressed upon BRO to maintain the road, which is in a critical condition. The stretch presently falls in the jurisdiction of NHAI and due to slow pace of work commuters have to face lot of problems on a day-to-day basis.
Referring to the repairs of Srinagar-Qazigund stretch, Minister for Public Works said the road length is presently being repaired by Public Works Department out of its own resources at a cost of Rs.14 crore to make it roadworthy. He, however, said the BRO will have to take over the road, till the four-lanning of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is completed.
The Chief Minister emphasized that till proposed widening of existing Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is fully completed, the State needs proper maintenance of alternate Mughal Road link to ensure that the Valley is not cut off if National Highway 1-A gets blocked.
The Chief Minister also discussed with DG BRO the issue of making Sonamarg Bypass functional, thus easing congestion on the existing road and facilitating movement of people particularly tourists. The DG BRO assured that the matter will be taken up on priority.
The DG BRO also briefed Mufti Sayeed about the present status on construction of Z-Morh Tunnel, which will provide all-weather Srinagar-Kargil-Leh connectivity. He said work on 6.5 km-long tunnel will commence shortly.
Mr. Mittal informed the Chief Minister that Sopore Bridge is nearing completion and will be commissioned in the next few days. He said after the last slab reinforcement and earth filling of the approach roads, the bridge, which has missed several deadlines, will be thrown open for vehicular traffic.
Keeping in view the significance of roads in providing alternate connectivity, the Chief Minister said he will take up with the Union Ministry of Road Transport & National Highways the matter of entrusting BRO with the responsibility of maintaining all National Highways and vital roads in J&K.
The Chief Minister directed Commissioner / Secretary, Public Works, to pursue with Union Ministry of Road Transport & National Highways the issue of transferring Batote-Kishtwar-Sinthan Road to BRO. He also called upon BRO to immediately start repairs on Achabal-Sinthan Road, which is presently being looked after by BRO.
Once entrusted with maintaining Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar-Batote Road, BRO will be able to provide yet another strategic link that connects Jammu with Kashmir Valley.
The Chief Minister said he will also take up with the Union Government the issue of transfer of strategic Baramulla-Uri Road to BRO so that it can be double- lanned.
Mufti Sayeed, during the tour of Uri last week, had announced double-lanning of Baramulla-Uri Road, keeping in view its strategic importance and tourism potential.