It’s the peak summer season in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the civil works that are to be carried out on various developmental projects are in full swing. The widening and upgrading work on 170 kilometers on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has been reportedly completed at a cost of Rs. 5011 crore and the officials of the NHAI say that work is being carried out on the balance portion of the Highway, including some tunnels and by passes.
The four laning of the arterial Jammu-Srinagar national highway is a dream project for not only the state government but the people living in Kashmir and Leh regions.
Most of the time these two regions of the state have to remain cut off for days together owing to the bad condition of the road as any sort of traffic movement comes to a grinding halt owing to bad weather conditions.
The importance of developing this important road can be gauged from the fact that the Governor, N N Vohra too is keenly interested to oversee the works that are being carried out.
Just recently the Chairman National Highways Authority of India, also called on Governor at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar and conveyed to him the official decision of making the four-laned highway most attractive by planting trees and flowers on both sides of the road and also providing kiosks at open spaces along the highway where sundry amenities would be available to the passengers.
Importantly, the state’s Chief Minister also while chairing a review meet of the project said that the completion of the project will change the life and economy of the people in the entire State.
However, the widening and development of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway will not ease out the traffic woes of the people of the state. The state government has to walk an extra mile and ensure that a wide network of roads is to be carried out in the state to help ease out the traffic congestion.
For this the government should prioritize the construction of circular or outer ring road for the two capital cities, a project to which the Union Minister for Roads and Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari had referred while speaking on Modi Governmentís road building plans.
The government also needs to take into consideration the development of roads at the district and tehsil level so that all the 22 districts of the state are well connected to the district and the provincial head quarters round through the year.
Road projects like Samba-Mansar road, Magam-Beerwah road, Ladoora-Achabal road, Gingal-Bijhama road, Rs. 158 cr Keerian Gandial bridge, Lisser road, Jothana bridge in Kathua, Sangam-Srigufwara road, Rs 76 cr Kotranka-Khwaas road, Awantipora-Tral road project and other works need to be completed well in time soa that the process of development gets the required momentum.
As we know, the Surface Transport Department of the Union Government has been monitoring the progress of roads and bridges including the projects that come under the PMGSY. There have been reports that some parts of the identified roads that were to be taken up under the central scheme PMGST have not shown the desired progress and need to be galvanized into action.