On Monday, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Transport and Highways, shared that the Kashmir dream to Kanyakumari road will be realised by early 2024. Four tunnels will be built between Rohtang and Ladakh. Moreover, a route from Kargil to Leh is being built to join the Zojila and Z-Morh tunnels. The new road will reduce the distance between Delhi and Chennai by 1,312 kilometres.
The Union Minister was in Jammu and Kashmir to attend the Parliamentary Consultative Committee’s second Road Transport and Highways meeting. He shared that the government had formulated a framework for roads in Jammu and Kashmir and undertaken projects worth ₹1.25 lakh crores, aiming to increase state tourism by four times. The Jammu and Kashmir government has identified 13 acres of land to build roadside facilities for tourists. These steps will also augment employment opportunities in the region.
For pilgrimage tourism, the Minister announced construction plans for a tunnel between Sheshnag and Panjtarni on the Amarnath yatra route, reducing the travel time from three days to nine hours. A 110-kilometres-long road between Khanabal and Panjtarni will be built for ₹5,300 crores. The DPR for the Khanabal – Chandanwari 73 kilometres stretch will be completed in July 2023, and the 37-kilometres-stretch between Chandanwari and Baltal via Panjtarnibeing being built for ₹3,500 will be done in October. Another 10.8 kilometres-long tunnel will run between Sheshnag and Panjtarni.
Moreover, the Srinagar Ring Road being constructed from Galander, Pulwama district to Ganderbal district, for ₹4,660 crores, will reduce traffic and pollution in the city. Further, another tunnel and an all-weather road worth ₹5,000 crores will be erected at Pir Ki Gali on Mughal Road, connecting Poonch in the Jammu region to Shopian in the valley.
Various tunnels on the Jammu-Srinagar route have reduced the distance by almost 20 per cent and travel time to five and a half hours. The upcoming five tunnels will further reduce the travel time to two hours.