Srinagar: Development of roads in Kashmir valley suffered a major setback in the year 2016 when only 30.64 km of roads was blacktopped (with tar), official records show. Compare this to the Jammu region, where 1376.92 km of roads was blacktopped during the same period.
This imbalance has been reduced in the current financial year. Since April 1, 2017 till August 28, 2017, in Kashmir division 1067.46 km of roads was blacktopped and 235 km of roads in Jammu division.
The Public Works Department (PWD) has a target to macadamise 2100 km of road this year in the state at a cost of Rs 400 crore. For the current financial year, PWD has been allotted Rs 200 crore under the Prime Minister’s Development Fund (PMDF) for blacktopping of roads and the amount has already been released.
Records show that the PWD has released Rs 920.92 crore and Rs 311.58 crore more needs to be disbursed among contractors.
Last year, Rs 400 crore was released by the government of India under the PMDP for blacktopping roads.
“During the current financial year, the department has drawn a plan for macadamisation of roads for Rs 630 crore in both the divisions of the state,” the official documents read. Of the total sum, Leh and Kargil in Ladakh region will get Rs 15 crore each for the development of roads.
Besides city and town roads, the PWD is developing roads leading to tourist destinations under the Tourist Destination Program (TDP). “206 km of roads have been macadamised under TDP,” the documents read.
“The overall requirement of funds by the end of current fiscal 2017-18 would be of the order of about Rs 730.34 crore,” the documents say.