Cabinet Sectt reviews pace of Central projects in J&K with top officials

Timelines for train to Kashmir, NHs, Expressway discussed
Working of Pakal Dul, Kiru, Ratle, Sawalkot assessed

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Nov 16: A high-level meeting was held at the Cabinet Secretariat in New Delhi to review working of various projects pertaining to different Central Ministries, continuous Central funding for them and their timely completion.
The projects which were reviewed as part of Centre-State/UT coordination issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir belonged to different Ministries including Road Transport & Highways, Power, Telecommunications, Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Higher Education, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Railway Board, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Health and Family Welfare among others.
Some of the officers attended the meeting physically while others joined virtually, the officials told the Excelsior.
Senior officers from Punjab also joined the meeting virtually as work on Delhi-Katra Expressway which passes from Punjab also came up for review during the high-level meeting at the Cabinet Secretariat, they said.
“Pace of almost all Centrally Sponsored projects has been good in Jammu and Kashmir and work on them was progressing smoothly. Because of the timely funding, the projects are expected to be completed well within the timelines fixed for them,” the officials said.
Besides Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, other projects whose work also came up for review at the high-level meeting were Sudhmahadev-Kishtwar-Anantnag highway and Ramban-Banihal section of National Highway-44, all pertaining to Road Transport and Highways Ministry, among others.
Uncovered Village Scheme, saturation of 4G mobile coverage and BharatNet of Department of Telecommunications; construction of permanent campus for IIM Jammu Phase-I at Jagti, Nagrota, construction of permanent campus of IIT Jammu (Phase-A), both pertaining to Department of Higher Education and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Awantipora also came up for review at the meeting, among others.
Progress on Pakal Dul, Ratle, Kiru and Sawalkot hydro-electric power projects was too discussed threadbare.
An ambitious project of Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas regarding setting up of a Petroleum Terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) on Common User Facility (CUF) basis at Jammu, too was discussed at the review meeting, the officials said.
Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project, which is likely to be completed early next year, too figured in the meeting. Completion of the project was reviewed in detail by the top officials.
When completed, Kashmir will be linked with rail with entire country and many trains from different States/Union Territories including Vande Bharat are proposed to run to Srinagar by the Railways Ministry besides the DMUs.
The Government planned to launch train service to Kashmir well before next Lok Sabha elections. Various Central as well as Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir functionaries have stated that the train could reach Kashmir from different States in January or February 2024.
The Railways Ministry, as per the officials, has been executing work on the project keeping this deadline in the mind.
As per the officials, work on most of the Centrally Sponsored projects is progressing reasonably well in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a fact which has also been acknowledged by various Central Ministries.