KATHUA: Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh on Tuesday laid the foundation of highway village along National Highway 44 (NH-44) at Logate Morh in Kathua district.
Addressing a gathering after stone laying ceremony, Singh said that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has identified 183 sites to set up wayside amenities along national highways.
Highlighting the importance of the highway village, Singh said that with the laying of foundation stone a new chapter has been added in the overall development scenario of Kathua as the project is first of its kind in J&K.
Under phase first, Rs 20 crore have been earmarked for the project and time duration of 18 months has been set for its completion, Singh added.
The amenities include facilities such as separate parking for cars, buses and trucks, restaurant/food court, low cost dhaba, telephone booth/ATM, fuel station and minor repair shop, restrooms for short-stay, clean toilets and landscaping for car and bus passengers and truckers to relax, revive and refresh, thus helping to reduce driver fatigue, resulting in making road travel safe and comfortable.
He further said that with the execution of several ambitious projects viz Keerian-Gandial bridge, Medical & Engineering College, Seed processing plant, Bio-tech park, and Juthana bridge Kathua will become a model district and other districts will follow the development model.
For the border area of Hiranagar sector, Singh stated that as many as 400 toilets have been constructed besides work is under progress for the construction of bunkers which he said would be completed soon.
Citing implementation of Shahpur Kandi project as the significant achievement of the Government, Singh said that due to the timely intervention of the Prime Minister, the project has been approved which otherwise was languishing for long.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Rohit Khajuria said that the highway village provides standardized and hygienic facilities along the National Highway. The facilities shall have hygienic food courts, dhabas, clean and usable toilets, washrooms, facility for short stay, minor vehicle repairs, fuel pumps and kiosks for sundry items.
Distinct facilities will be developed for car and bus passengers, for truck drivers and transporters to cater to their diverse requirements, expectations and to suit the budget of each user, he added.
ADC, Ghanshyam Singh, ACD, ACR, RTO, Engineers, Deputy CMO, District Officers, NHAI Regional Officer, Hem Raj and Project Director NHAI, Ajay Kumar Rajak were present at the function.