SRINAGAR: The first section of the prestigious four lane Srinagar-Qazigund Highway project was inaugurated today. The minister of Public Works, Nayeem Akther has termed the opening of the road as ‘a beginning of an era of unprecedented connectivity’.
The Minister said that the new highway will go a long way in connecting South Kashmir with Central Kashmir and subsequently to other areas. The Minister was accompanied by Minister of State for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Cooperative and Fisheries Zahoor Ahmad Mir, DC Pulwama, CE R&B, representatives of Ramky and National Highway Authority of India and other officials.
The first section comprises of 9 km of road length from Gallander to Lasjan Bypass. The Minister said that with the inauguration of the first section of highway the vehicles will be able to reach their destination in minutes and it will also minimize the traffic jams at the Panthachowk junction.
He Minister said that the highway construction was marred due to multiple reasons over the years and now the progress is visible. He said that despite some hiccups the highway construction is going on at satisfactory pace. He said that the entire highway starting from Qazigund to Lasjan Bypass will be commissioned by December 2017.
The four lane highway comprises of five sections. Qazigund Bypass (total 3. 85 kms, completed length 3.00 kms), Bijbehara Bypass (total 12.7 kms, completed 10.00 kms) Awantipora Bypass (total 7.34 kms, completed 4.00 kms), Pampore Bypass total 9 kms, completed 9 kms) and widening of existing Highway (31.37 kms, completed 29 km).
The Minister said that every effort should be made to complete the project before December deadline. “The commissioning of the highway will be dawn of an unprecedented era of connectivity. It will cut down travel time and make journey safe and pleasant,” said Akhtar. “It will also boost our economy besides being able to cope with the rush of tourists.”
The Minister said that the next mega project will be connecting North Kashmir with central Kashmir by four lining of Srinagar Baramulla highway. He appealed the people to treat the new infrastructure projects as their own and protect them from encroachments and damage. “The highways are for people to use and it should be their duty to safeguard them,” said Akhtar.