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New Delhi [India], September 6 (ANI): Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh has said that after abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 there is a visible change in every field including completion of unfinished projects, implementation of centrally sponsored schemes, infrastructure development and security situation.
The Minister reviewed the progress of highways and road projects of Jammu and Kashmir with Managing Director of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited KK Pathak.
During the meeting, Singh asked Pathak to expedite the pending projects on a war footing.
Pathak told the Minister that all the ongoing projects would be completed in a time-bound manner though some work got hampered due to COVID-19 and timelines had to be increased.
Singh said Narendra Modi government has allocated more than Rs 1,08,621 crore budget for Jammu and Kashmir, which is highest ever.
The Minister said the budget will help in rebuilding the economy, create jobs and will usher in all-round development for the new Union Territory.
The NHIDCL Managing Director said that work on most of 17 highways projects with a sanctioned cost of over Rs 15,385 crore is going on smoothly. Out of 17 approved projects, 12 are in Jammu region, while five are in Kashmir region.
Singh noted that out of 12 such projects in Jammu region, six major ones are in his Lok Sabha constituency of Udhampur-Kathua-Doda. These include Chenani-Sudhmahadev Road, Goha-Khellani Package 1 and 2, Goha-Khellani Package 3 that is Khellani Tunnel and Khillani-Khanabal Package-2.
Sihgh, who is also Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said that out of six prospective projects to be awarded in near future, five are in the Jammu region and Sudhmahadev-Daranga Tunnel package 1 and 2 fall in his parliamentary constituency.
Earlier, in March this year, Singh had met Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, for allocation of funds to enable timely completion of the proposed Chattergala tunnel which will connect district Kathua with district Doda in Jammu and Kashmir, en route the new Highway via Basohli-Bani through Chattergalla to touch Bhaderwah and Doda.
"This is going to be a historic landmark project providing all-weather alternate road connectivity between the two distant regions and reducing the travel time from Doda to Lakhanpur to just around four hours," Ministry of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said in a release. (ANI)