NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi Government has proposed to build an expressway between New Delhi and Katra, the base for pilgrims going to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir. This has come after the government at the centre announced highway connectivity for four Hindu religious shrines (Char Dham) in Uttarakhand.
The planning falls under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and once completed the expressway will be the longest in India yet at a length of 600 kms. Current estimates of the cost of this expressway are pinned over Rs 15,000 crore and this expressway is to pass through Haryana, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.
At the moment the feasibility of this project is being determined and for the same a special consultant will be appointed. This expressway will also improve the connectivity between Delhi and Srinagar as a national highway is already being built between Jammu and Srinagar.
According to reports in Economis Times, the Road transport & highways minister Nitin Gadkari confirmed that his ministry was working on the plan.
What is exciting about this news for Jammuites is that the expressway will reduce the travel time between New Delhi and Katra to just six hours from the current 11-12 hours. 40% of the cost of this project will be borne by the government which means that the project is likely to be built on a hybrid annuity model. The government has already approved plans for the construction of about 1,000 km of expressways at an estimated cost of Rs 16,680 crore. The approved corridors are Delhi-Chandigarh, Bengaluru-Chennai, Delhi-Jaipur, Delhi-Meerut, Kolkata-Dhanbad, Delhi-Agra and Vadodara-Mumbai. It could be a hightraction project as the traffic flow, both private vehicles and freight, is good on the route.
Image source – wikipedia