‘GoI has agreed in principle to Mughal road tunnel’

R&B Minister Unveils New Initiatives; House Passes Grants Of Public Works Department

Jammu, Publish Date: Jan 23 2018 1:18AM | Updated Date: Jan 23 2018 1:18AM
‘GoI has agreed in principle to Mughal road tunnel’File Photo

Unveiling new initiatives for speeding up the work on road infrastructure projects, minister for Roads and Buildings (R&B) Naeem Akther on Monday said Government of India has agreed in principle to the construction of a tunnel on historic Mughal Road to make it an all-weather corridor.

Winding up discussion on grants of his department, the minister informed the House that the Centre has in-principle agreed to construct the tunnel on historic Mughal Road to ensure all-weather road connectivity on the route connecting Kashmir with Pir Panchal region.

Akther said connectivity continues to be the affliction and weakness of JK after 70 years.

“Kashmir must be only part of the world today, where people have to switch on the radio in the morning to know about the status of the road connecting them with the outside world,” he said, adding that there will be improved connectivity between Kashmir and rest of the country with the accomplishment of the upgradation of major portion of Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

“We will complete Srinagar-Qazigund portion of the highway this year,” he said,

To further boost the connectivity in the State, he said that an allocation of Rs 42000 crore has been earmarked under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for construction of national highways and tunnels in the State.

The Minister said the work for preparation of DPRs for realigned portion of Batote-Kishtwar–Sinthan-Khannabal, Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khellani including 3.5 km long tunnel at Goha, Sudhmahadev-Goha and Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel is under process.

“For construction of tunnel on Mughal road, tender has been floated by NHIDCL for preparation of DPR,” he said.

Under PM’s package, two ring road projects have been approved for the state at the cumulative cost of Rs 4,000.

“DPRs for constructing semi-ring roads around twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu have been prepared, “he said.

The Minister informed that the GoI has approved Phase-XI of Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojana (PMGSY) that includes 199 project proposals worth Rs 955.63 crore covering a road length of 1,211.31 km across the state.

Under PMGSY, 131 projects have been completed in 2017-18. The government received Rs 319.375 crore from the Centre, besides one-time special dispensation of Rs 1,287 crore as cost of land acquisition for PMGSY projects, he informed.

Naeem informed the House that Government of India has agreed to sanction projects worth Rs 1200 crore under Central Road Fund (CRF).

 He said out of 230 sanctioned schemes under the plan, 73 projects have been completed at the cost of Rs 1,048.49 crore and 17 new schemes are targeted to be completed in 2018-19, he stressed.

“The work on prestigious Bhaderwah-Chamba road sanctioned under ISC has been completed,” the Minister said, adding the work is in full swing on 1,210 m span (double lane) pre-stressed bridge over river Ravi at village Keerian Gandialat the estimated cost of Rs 158.84 crore.

Stressing that NABARD has been the main source of funding for the department to build rural infrastructure related to roads and bridges, the Minister informed that 51 projects have been completed in current year while as 11 projects would be completed by March, 2018.

“156 new projects costing Rs 429.14 crore have been recommended for funding under NABARD RIDF XXIII and 109 schemes are targeted to be completed in 2018-19”, he informed.

He informed that Rs 580 crore have been allocated for PWD works under World Bank assistance for Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery project.

Stressing that the state has witnessed a twofold rise in macadamization of roads during the current fiscal, he said the government has macadamized a total of 4,056.25 km road length in 2017-18 till November, 2017 including 1,330.02 km in Jammu and 2,726.23 km in Kashmir.

“The government would macadamize a road length of 3,898.12 km in 2018-19 under different schemes”, he added.

Giving details about the works of JKPCC, the Minister said the Corporation is executing about 377 works in the state at the cost of Rs 4,598.42 crore.

The Minister said the Corporation constructed Pushwara bridge in Anantnag, Manzgam-Panzgam Bridge and Meelyal Bridge in Kupwara, Pedestrain Bridge in Rajbagh, Polytechnic Colleges in Reasi, Samba and Kathua and other projects in the state. It would complete 30 bridges/roads and more than 27 buildings of different departments in 2018-19, he added.

Informing that about 6000 km road length and 600 bridges were damaged in 2014 floods, the Minister said the government launched a massive programme to improve riding surface of roads.

The government spent Rs 1,220 crore (Rs 623.66 crore in Kashmir and Rs 596.34 crore in Jammu) on this programme in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 till November 2017 and cleared a liability of Rs 200 crore this year, he added.

The Minister said 511 bridges are under construction in the state and 18 bridges have been completed in current year while as 26 bridges are expected to be completed during next fiscal. He informed that 204 bridges, 117 in Jammu and 87 in Kashmir, are targeted to be completed upto 2019-20.

Listing new initiatives taken by the department, the Minister said social media has been used for line tracking of different projects, Standard Bidding Document formed to streamline tendering process, comprehensive quality assurance manual finalized and joint ventures have been allowed for participation of small/medium firms and individual participation in bigger projects.

For ensuring quality of road projects, the Minister said Road Safety Audit Cell has been established in the Directorate of Design, Inspections & Quality Control (DIQC) as the nodal agency in the state for engineering aspects of road safety, besides pressing State Quality Monitors (SQMs) on the pattern of PMGSY into service for quality assurance of CRF roads.

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