JAMMU, Jan 27: Minister for R&B and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rehman Veeri today said that National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) will construction new NH-244, from Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khellani-Kishtwar-Sinthanpass up to Khannabal in Kashmir.
Replying to a question of Congress Member Naresh Gupta in the Upper House today, Veeri said that the construction of Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha-Kishtwar-Sinthan-Khannabal road has been entrusted by Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) for up-gradation to two-lane status with paved shoulders.
The Minister disclosed that NHIDCL is preparing DPR and feasibility study of the proposed National Highway-244. He said the Corporation has awarded the maintenance works of the said road and the contractors have already started work.
Veeri further said that the road is being maintained by Public Works Department on behalf of NHIDCL. He said on the directions of Chief Minister, Rs 5 crore were spent for restoration of the road, out of which Rs 3.97 crore were spend through R&B Division Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar. He said out of Rs 3.01 crore released by NHIDCL to R&B Department Jammu for ordinary repairs, Rs 2.19 crore were spent in the three divisions.
The Minister said NHIDCL has awarded works for restoration of road by way of clearance of consolidated slips, surface boulders, side drain, culverts including reconstruction of damaged edge walls and retaining walls in four groups amounting to Rs 72.76 crore.
Veeri said the consultancy services for preparation of feasibility study and detailed project report for up-gradation of Chenani- Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khellani-Kishtwar-Sinthan Pass-Khannabal road has been awarded by NHIDCL to DPR consultant, M/S Wadia Techno Engineering Services Ltd in association with “Zoma Engineers” at a cost of Rs 4.85 crore. He said the DPR consultant has been deployed and survey work would be completed within one year and thereafter civil works would be put to tender.
Congress Member further alleged that there was no tender work procedure adopted by the R&B and this Rs 5 crore work was allotted to the blue eyed people. He demanded that Govt should hold inquiry into the matter and tell on what grounds they were showered favours. He alleged that about 21 kms road length from Batote to Doda was sinking due to pondage along the old highway and there was urged need to have alternate highway. Geological experts’ services should be hired to study the feasibility and people of this entire Chenab belt be provided safe road link.
Legislators Firdous Ahmad Tak and Jugal Kishore Sharma raised supplementary questions.