SRINAGAR: People in Jammu and Kashmir are reaping the benefits of road connectivity which they were deprived of for past seventy years.
The insensitivity of earlier regimes in road connectivity had deprived many areas of development and prosperity so and so that many hamlets in the Himalayan region were forbidden.
The road construction in Jammu and Kashmir picked up pace after 2019 with focused attention of the Government on major highways in three years and thereby travel time between major destinations across the Union Territory has reduced considerably.
During the last two years, road and tunnel infrastructure has been prioritized and around one lakh crore is being spent to build a robust road network. Last year, Jammu and Kashmir has set a new record of constructing 6,450 kms of road length. Jammu and Kashmir achieved third rank in the target of longest road length in the country.
Earlier, six kms of road length was constructed per day which has increased to 20 km per day from last few years. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Jammu and Kashmir ranks fourth in the country.
In the last two years, a total of 169 bridges have been constructed to strengthen the transport system and in the last financial year, 7610 km of road length has been macadamized which used to be around 2500-3000 km previously. Travel time between Jammu and Srinagar has been reduced from 12 hours to 7 hours.
In 2022, for the second consecutive year that J&K maintained its national ranking as J&K was once again ranked among top three performing states/UTs at the national level for construction of road length per year under the PMGSY.
Udhampur district bagged the top position at the national level for successfully implementing the PMGSY for 2020-21. The district remained on top for constructing roads of 560.49 kms.
Currently under PMGSY, an average nine kms of road length is constructed per day, which is higher than the achievement for the year 2020-21.
Notably, the Union Ministry of Rural Development had sanctioned 3,347 schemes under the PMGSY-I to be executed in 12 phases envisaging construction of 18,432.79 km roads costing Rs 1,19,646.76 crore to provide connectivity to 2,148 habitations. Under the PMGSY-2, 107 schemes (704.55 km) have been sanctioned costing Rs 790.49 crore.
Last week the Union Ministry for Rural Development approved PMGSY-III for 1,276 km costing Rs 1,357 crore for J&K with an aim to provide all-weather road connectivity
to unconnected habitations for sustainable and inclusive growth.
The PMGSY-III is yet another milestone in the rural connectivity of J&K.
The Central Government is supporting the efforts of J&K Government to improvise the rural infrastructure so that the connectivity can be enhanced and the rural population can get the benefits for ease of living.
J&K Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha expressed gratitude to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Rural Development, Giriraj Singh for granting approval to PMGSY-III and termed it as yet another milestone in the rural connectivity of J&K.
“It will provide all-weather road connectivity to unconnected habitats for sustainable and inclusive growth”, he said.__The Kashmir Monitor