JAMMU, Jan 17: Notwithstanding delay in acquisition of land at some places, the ambitious Jammu-Udhampur road widening project is likely to be completed by June 2014.
Above 40 percent job of the road widening from Jammu to Udhampur has been finished by the executing agency while major work on more than 50 big and small bridges is now going on with full swing, informed R P Singh, Project Director National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Jammu, to the Excelsior.
For Rs 1814 crore project, which has been allotted to IFCON, around 2700 workers and 450 machines have been engaged for round the clock work to ensure timely completion of the road widening, he added.
The project was started in June 2011 and during the last one and half year, more than 40 percent of the total work has been completed by the executing agency, which is busy these day in construction of 33 major and 21 small bridges on the road, Mr Singh said adding that the NHAI was confident of finishing the job before June 2014-the deadline fixed for completion of the project.
Even as the work is going with full pace, hurdles in acquisition of some portions of private land to the NHAI at Jajjar Kotli village, Jakheni and Thangial are delaying the work on these patches of the road.
For the widening project, the NHAI has acquired 241 hectare of private land in different areas for which a compensation of Rs 118 crore has been awarded.
“The total length of the road on which the work is pending due to delay in acquisition of land, is only around five kms and we are hopeful to get the issue resolved very soon for meeting the deadline,” the NHAI officer said.
The widening of Jammu-Udhampur National Highway will shorten the total distance by road as well as the time taken to complete the journey.
It is pertinent to mention that widening of Jammu-Udhampur road is part of the National Highway Authority of India’s flagship project of four-laning Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
The NHAI has divided the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway four-laning project into six sub-projects, which include widening of Srinagar-Banihal road (67.7 kms), Qazigund-Banihal road (15.25 kms), Banihal-Ramban road (36 kms), Ramban-Udhampur road (43 kms), construction of Chenani-Nashri tunnel (12 kms) and widening of Jammu-Udhampur road (65 kms).
While the job of construction is going on four sub-projects, the work on Udhampur-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal has not yet been awarded to any agency due to some technical problems notwithstanding the fact that deadline fixed for completion of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway four-laning project is May 2016.