Better roads to open new avenues in Tral: Naeem

Batgund Bridge to open next month, Boardwalk from Tral to Pahalgam on anvil
SRINAGAR: The Government has launched a massive road connectivity programme in Tral area of district Pulwama to unlock the huge economic potential there and open up some of the virgin tourist spots to the public, Minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar said Tuesday.
“We have launched an extensive road connectivity programme in Tral to drive the economic growth and tackle the pestering disadvantage of the area which was unfortunately embroiled in high level of disturbances for quite a long time,” Akhtar said at a meeting convened here Tuesday to take a detailed review of the progress of various road and bridge projects in Tral area.
The Minister said that by the end of this year, Tral would one of the best connected areas in South Kashmir with high-quality all-weather internal access to some of the best tourist spots and places of economic importance in the vicinity.  “Better road access will open up opportunities for the locals to reach new and diversified employment activities offering added economic opportunities,” he said.
Reiterating that the R&B Department shall have to stick to the timeline for completion of these vital projects in the area, the Minister said road connectivity is key to transforming lives of people in the area, who have suffered a lot because of the uncertainties plaguing the area.
He said under a significant connectivity initiative, Rs 3 crore have been earmarked, on the Chief Minister’s directions, for construction of an environment-friendly boardwalk traversing the hills from Tral to Pahalgam which would be used by the trekkers and tourists to visit some of the spectacular places in the area.
Seeking a detailed and up-to-date status regarding important road projects in the area, the Minister asked R&B Department functionaries to gear up their men and machinery for meeting the deadlines in the execution of these important connectivity projects.
Briefing the Minister about the progress of work on the connectivity projects under execution in Tral area, the Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir said that the upgradation of Awantipora-Tral Road via Dadasara shall be completed by September 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 14.30 crore. He said upgradation of 8 KM road length of this road has already been completed out of the total length of 11.5 KMs.
Regarding upgradation of Bohu-Tral road via Nowdal, the Minister was informed that the work is expected to be completed by July 2018 at an estimated cost of Rs 7.19 crore. However, the Minister instructed the R&B Department that at least 6 KM road length out of total 9 KMs should be macadamized by December 2017.
The Minister was informed that upgradation of roads including Mandura-Bhatnoor road, Tral-Kahleel road and Chachkote-Saimoh-Shikargah-Tral road shall be taken up during next fiscal at a cost of Rs 15 crore.
The Minister said upgradation of Tral-Satoora road and Khanqah-Pashtuna road via Batgund would be taken up under CRF at an estimated cost of Rs 25 crore. Similarly, he said upgradation of Tral-Naristan road, Keegam-Hariganeshbal-Dudu Gujjar Patti road and construction of bridge over Watal Ara Nallah are proposed to be taken up under World Bank funded project at an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore.
Taking a review of construction of other bridges in the area, the Minister set the deadline of September 2017 for construction of bridge on Chewa-Chenitar road coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 2.15 core.
The Minister was informed that Batgund Bridge shall be thrown open for traffic next month.
Similarly, the bridge over Nallah Chandri Ara near Chandrigam on Awantipora-Tral will be completed by June 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 3.04 crore.