Srinagar : Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadhari laid the foundation stone for four National Highway (NH) projects in the Kashmir valley.
The 121 km projects will cost Rs 3612 crores, said Mr Gadkari who arrived here on a two day visit as part of Public Outreach Programme.
Mr Gadkari is likely to assess and inspect the Z-Morh and Zojilla tunnel projects tomorrow.
Baramulla-Gulmarg and Vailoo-Donipawa are two of the initiatives which were inaugurated are worth Rs 85 crore and Rs 158 crore respectively. He also inaugurated the work of Donipawa -Ashajipra that connects with Anantnag district at a cost of Rs 57 crore. The four-lane 42 km-long ring road in Srinagar will cost Rs 2948.72 crore. This, he said, will promote tourism in the valley. This will help people to visit rural areas without touching Srinagar.
The Minister will visit Z-Morh portal area and drive through the Z-Morh main tunnel.
“Length of the Z-Morh main tunnel is 6.5 Km while length of the escape tunnel (excavation completed) is 6.5 Km. Z-Morh tunnel will provide all weather connectivity to Sonamarg tourist town,” as per the officials.
He will also visit Nilgrar tunnel-I and II. “Nilgrar-I is a twin tube tunnel of 433 meters length each. Nilgrar twin tunnel-2 is of 1.95 Km length each. Nilgrar-I and Nilgrar-II tunnels are the part of 18.0 Km long approach road to Zojila west portal. Total cost of the approach road including both these tunnels is Rs. 1900 crore. Zojila tunnel will provide connectivity to Ladakh region Kargil, Drass and Leh,” officials said.
The Union Minister will also undertake visit of Zojila Tunnel through west portal whose total length is 14.15 km. Work has been awarded at the cost of Rs. 2610 crore. He will also visit Zojila tunnel through east portal. “Excavation of tunnel through west portal has been done 123 meters in heading and through east portal excaved in heading has been done 368 meters as on date,” they said
Eight more Union Ministers including Gadkari, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Giriraj Singh have been named by the Central Government for visiting Jammu and Kashmir as part of Public Outreach Programme-II in September-October taking total number of Ministers who have either visited or will be visiting the Union Territory to 66.
Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh will visit Kathua district on October 2 and 3 while Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will be in Kashmir on October 7 and 8.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is finalizing schedule of the visit of Ministers to Jammu and Kashmir in consultations with Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh.
Schedule of 58 Ministers has already been announced while visit of six Ministers was finalized today taking total numbers to 66.
As per sources, 70 Union Ministers are expected to tour Jammu and Kashmir during eight-week long Public Outreach-II.