The BJP-PDP government which is likely to assume power by the end of this month must put focus on the infrastructure projects which have been languishing in the state, and have put a stop on the growth of economy and creation of jobs. One of the most important project is the four laning of state highway between Srinagar and Jammu. While portions of this road have been four – laned but a crucial part of the road between Banihal and Srinagar has been held up as state authorities have not been able to acquire land which is needed for the expansion of the road. Those involved in the development of the project allege that the authorities are not serious in getting the land needed for the project, and managing the land acquisition in a smooth manner. Sources say that landowners along the road are demanding more compensation for the sale of land which has not gone down well with state government as a result of which the project is stuck halfway.
It is being alleged that officials responsible for the project are just passing the buck around. However, if the issue is taken up seriously then this road could be constructed sooner then expected, and it is important to do this because this is a very crucial stretch connecting Kashmir, and Jammu. Ramky Constructions which is building this stretch claims that they would have handed the project last year only but the dispute between landowners and government has led to delay in the project completion. As per government data out of 95 cases of dispute, 77 cases have been settled, and an amount of Rs 45 crore has been distributed. However, the project has been pending because of the cases which have remained unsettled, and unless the government takes initiative the highway project is likely to remain delayed which is causing immense problems to the people travelling on this road.
Four laning of the National Highway is important to ensure better movement of traffic, transportation of horticulture produce, and the movement of security convoys particularly in winters. The completion of this road will boost the economy of the state, and add to the income of the people particularly traders while reducing the cost of transportation cutting the time for travel. The agenda for the new government is as such clear not only this road but all major roads and other infrastructure projects in the state should be taken up on priority.