Gadkari, Naqvi, Giriraj among 6 more Ministers to visit J&K

Minister to lay foundation of 3 NHs, visit Zojila

Total goes up to 66, scheduled to touch 70

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 24: Eight more Union Ministers including Nitin Gadkari, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Giriraj Singh were today named by the Central Government for visiting Jammu and Kashmir as part of Public Outreach Programme-II in September-October taking total number of Ministers who have either visited or will be visiting the Union Territory to 66.
Union Minister for Road Transport and National Highways Nitin Gadkari will be visiting Kashmir on September 27 and 28 during which he will lay foundation stones of three National Highways, Ring Road and conduct inspection of Zojila Morh tunnel.
Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh will visit Kathua district on October 2 and 3 while Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will be in Budgam district on October 7 and 8.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is finalizing schedule of the visit of Ministers to Jammu and Kashmir in consultations with Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh. Schedule of 58 Ministers has already been announced while visit of six Ministers was finalized today taking total numbers to 66.
As per sources, 70 Union Ministers are expected to tour Jammu and Kashmir during eight-week long Public Outreach-II. Thirty six Ministers had visited Jammu and Kashmir during Public Outreach-I from January 18-24, 2020 and later submitted their reports to the MHA and PMO.
Annpurna Devi, Minister of State for Education will visit Anantnag district on October 21 and 22, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Environment, Forest and Climate Change will be in Ramban district from October 21-23 while Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Jal Shakti will tour Reasi district on October 26 and 27.
During his two-day visit to Kashmir, Gadkari will lay foundation stone of various National Highway projects on September 27. He will review and inspect Z-Morh and Zojila Tunnel on September 28.
Gadkari will lay the foundation stone of Baramulla-Gulmarg National Highway which includes up-gradation of existing carriage way. Total length of the highway is 43 km and it has been awarded at the cost of Rs. 85 crore. This will improve riding quality of the highway for tourists to visit Gulmarg.
He will also lay foundation stone of Vailoo to Donipawa National Highway in Anantnag district including construction and up gradation of the road with total length of 28 km. Work has been sanctioned at the cost of Rs. 158 crore. This will provide connectivity to Kokernag and Vailoo.
The Union Minister will also lay foundation of Donipawa to Ashajipra National Highway joining with NH-44 in Anantnag. This includes construction of new bypass. Total length of the project is 8.5 kilometres and it has been awarded at the cost of Rs. 57 crore. This will bypass Anantnag town.
Gadkari will also lay foundation stone of 4-lane Ring Road around Srinagar (42 km) which will be constructed at the cost of Rs. 2948.72 crore for decongestion of Srinagar City.
The Minister will visit Z-Morh portal area and drive through the Z-Morh main tunnel.
“Length of the Z-Morh main tunnel is 6.5 Km while length of the escape tunnel (excavation completed) is 6.5 Km. Z-Morh tunnel will provide all weather connectivity to Sonamarg tourist town,” as per the officials.
He will also visit Nilgrar tunnel-I and II.
“Nilgrar-I is a twin tube tunnel of 433 meters length each. Nilgrar twin tunnel-2 is of 1.95 Km length each. Nilgrar-I and Nilgrar-II tunnels are the part of 18.0 Km long approach road to Zojila west portal. Total cost of the approach road including both these tunnels is Rs. 1900 crore. Zojila tunnel will provide connectivity to Ladakh region Kargil, Drass and Leh,” the officials said.
The Union Minister will also undertake visit of Zojila Tunnel through west portal whose total length is 14.15 km. Work has been awarded at the cost of Rs. 2610 crore.
He will also visit Zojila tunnel through east portal.
“Excavation of tunnel through west portal has been done 123 meters in heading and through east portal excaved in heading has been done 368 meters as on date,” the officials said.