Dec 2022 deadline for rail link & all-weather road connectivity to Kashmir next year | India News

NEW DELHI: The Centre has set December 2022 as the deadline for rail connectivity to Kashmir and all-weather road connectivity to the Valley next year. Similarly, to improve road connectivity to villages in this newly created Union Territory, 5,300 kms of rural roads would be built during the current financial year.
Sources said 4,600 km of roads under PM Gram Sadak Yojna will be built in Jammu province, the rest 700 km will be constructed in Kashmir.
The railway ministry had recently claimed that the world’s highest railway bridge over river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir being built at a height of 359 metres from the river bed level will be ready by December 2021. This will be higher than the Qutub Minar and Eiffel Tower. The maximum designed wind speed for the bridge is 266 kmph, a government document said.
The railway ministry has commissioned the Udhmapur-Katra, Banihal-Quazigund and Quazigund-Baramulla sections with a combined length of 161 km. “The last remaining section, the 111 km Katra-Banihal section is currently under execution. It is targeted for completion in December 2022,” an official said.
The government claimed that expenditure on various infrastructure projects, which was 27% of the sanctioned cost in June 2018, has shot up to 54% in July 2020. It said the number of completed projects and substantially completed projects has shot up from seven in June 2018 to 17 in July 2020.
Officials said the Semi Ring Road for Jammu will also be completed next year. All land acquisition and related hurdles have been removed and 30% of the work has been completed. Similarly, the progress of Quazigund-Banihal tunnel is around 86% and it is scheduled for completion next year.
Officials said works on major roads – Jammu–Akhnoor Road, Chenani-Sudhmahadev road – have been accelerated.
The government has also prepared the detailed project reports of Light Rail Transit System (LRTS) for Jammu and Srinagar at Rs 10,599 crore.
Infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir is getting a concentrated push with government estimates suggesting projects worth over Rs 7,000 crore were languishing at various stages since 2018. Some of these were at a standstill for over decade.
To deal with this problem, the government has set up the J&K Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC), which has borrowed Rs 8,000 crore from the market. It has sanctioned 2,273 projects costing Rs 5,979 crore and 506 projects have been completed while 963 projects are scheduled for completion by March 2021.

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