UDHAMPUR: The central government on Sunday announced that it has sanctioned Rs 4,300 crore for the construction of ring roads — one each in Jammu and Srinagar — to decongest traffic in the two cities of Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari told a rally near this Jammu town that Rs 2,100 crore and Rs 2,200 crore have been earmarked for the ring roads in Srinagar and Jammu respectively.
“Tenders for the Jammu ring road have already been invited and tenders for Srinagar will be invited shortly. The work on the ring roads will start in three months,” Gadkari told the rally, held after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the state-of-art Chenani-Nashri tunnel — the longest in India.
The tunnel, that connects Udhampur and Ramban districts of Jammu and Kashmir, bypasses a dangerous hilly terrain of over 30 km of the strategic Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
Gadkari said the tunnel would provide an all-weather road to the Kashmir Valley and reduce two hours of travel time on the 300-km highway — the only surface link that connects Kashmir with the rest of India. He said the government was constructing a total of 13 tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir to boost connectivity and infrastructure development in a state that has long suffered from industrial backwardness due to the lack of roads.
The government was planning to spend Rs 60,000 crore on an infrastructure development programme in the state, the minister said.