SRINAGAR: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Wednesday informed that work has started on the first-of-its-kind Katra (Jammu and Kashmir)-Delhi Express Road Corridor which will be ready by 2023.
When it becomes functional, the Minister said, the travel time from Katra to Delhi will get reduced to around six and half hours, and from Jammu to Delhi to just about six hours. Sharing the details, Singh stated that once this express road corridor becomes functional, people will prefer to travel to Delhi by road instead of undertaking journey by train or by Air.
“The hallmark of this road corridor is that it will connect the holy cities of Katra and Amritsar, and at the same time offer connectivity for some other major important religious shrines between the two destinations,” he said. Singh further informed that after completion of the survey by Feedback Consultants Ltd, the process of acquisition of land is nearly complete and the work on the ground has started.
Estimated to cost over Rs 35,000 crores, the Minister said, the important cities through which this expressway corridor will pass include Jammu and Kathua in J&K, and Jalandhar, Amritsar, Kapurthala and Ludhiana in Punjab.
Meanwhile, Singh said, simultaneous widening of the National Highway between Pathankot and Jammu is also being undertaken, to upgrade it from four lane to six lane, which will also prove to be a great boon for the commuters between Jammu, Kathua and Pathankot.
Scheduled to be completed within a timeline of three years, Singh said, the road corridor will prove to be a path-breaking revolution in promoting industry and investments in the entire region. It will also pave the way for the growth of economic hubs in cities like Kathua and Jammu, he added.
Singh, had been pursuing this project since 2015 and had for the first time about three and half years ago announced during a programme at Katra that he had submitted a proposal to this effect which had been accepted by the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari but it would take time because of procedural issues. The minister thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the liberal Central funding to build a series of landmark new roads and bridges in the region during the last six years.