PM to virtually review 4 major projects of J&K during PRAGATI conference tomorrow

Working of Expressway, NH, Ring Road, IIM to be assessed
Travel distance, duration to reduce; jam to be over
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Nov 27: Four major projects pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir including Delhi-Katra Expressway, Ramban-Banihal section of National Highway, Srinagar Ring Road and IIM Jammu are expected to figure in virtual review of projects at his monthly `PRAGATI” (Pro-Active Governance & Timely Implementation) conference by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 29.
Officials told the Excelsior that during review of work on Delhi-Katra Expressway, Union Secretary Road Transport and Highways, Secretary Power and Chief Secretaries of four States/Union Territories including Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana will be present virtually.
The Prime Minister will review progress of work in all four States/UTs on Delhi-Katra Expressway and steps required to expedite work on Rs 38691 cr project which has been completed 39 percent. Its scheduled completion is in 2026.
Modi will also review the work of 4-laning of Ramban-Banihal section of National Highway-44 from 151-187 kilometers.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government will expedite disbursement of amount for work on Banihal bypass besides utility shifting. The Secretary Road Transport and Highway and the Chief Secretary J&K will be present virtually during review of work on Ramban-Banihal section of National Highway.
This project involves cost of Rs 5167.41 crore and is scheduled to be completed in 2025. There has been 33 percent physical progress of the work.
Other two major projects which are likely to be reviewed by Narendra Modi during PRAGATI conference include Srinagar Ring Road Phase-I from 0 to 42 kilometers with project cost of Rs 2522.18 crore on which nearly 33 percent progress has been achieved and IIM Jammu on which 93 percent work has been completed and construction work is expected to be over this year. The project has a cost of Rs 424.93 crore.
As per the officials, the Delhi-Katra Expressway will shorten the distance by about 40 kilometers and help reach from Delhi to Amritsar within four to four and half hours and from Delhi to Katra within six to six and half hours. It will also provide shortest connectivity to important Sikh religious shrines at Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Taran Taran and recently developed Dera Baba Nanak/Kartarpur Sahib International corridor.
“The development of proposed Expressway will not only provide shortest connectivity to religious cities of Amritsar and Katra but also to industrial and economic hubs of Ambala in Haryana, UT of Chandigarh, Mohali, Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kapurthala in Punjab and Kathua and Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir besides tourist centres of Himachal Pradesh,” the officials said, adding that economic development of these regions will be strengthened as a result of access to developed markets and reduction in logistics costs.
Four-lane Ramban-Banihal highway project area is known for its difficult terrain and low temperature especially in the winter season. It will decongest the existing narrow road between Ramban and Banihal and will cut short travel time considerably due to provision of tunnels and viaducts.
“Implementation of this project will provide all weather connectivity from Jammu to Kashmir valley. Along with other adjoining road projects, this project will bring people of Kashmir closer to the nation by hearts too. Apart from reducing journey time, it will also connect strategic border areas in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover, implementation of the project would result in development of basic infrastructure in the region which would ultimately lead to overall economic development of the region,” the officials said.
The proposed Ring Road whose working is also scheduled to be reviewed will be traversing through Srinagar, Pulwama, Budgam, Baramulla, Bandipore and Ganderbal districts. With the construction of the Ring Road, the traffic jam in main urban area of Srinagar will be reduced, the officials said.
At present, traffic to Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Gurez, Kargil and Leh passes through Srinagar. However, with the construction of Ring Road, traffic will be able to reach its destination without entering the main city. This will help relieve the problem of traffic jam.
Construction work of Srinagar Ring Road, Phase-I project had started on August 6, 2021 and is likely to be completed by August 2024.
The IIM Jammu is expected to be completed in December 2023.