Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir), Jan 22 (IANS) Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday inaugurated a 1,210-meter span-bridge over the river Ravi in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district to reduce the distance to Punjab’s Pathankot city by 36 km.
Addressing a public rally after inaugurating the bridge, Gadkari said the Modi government had set a new mark in timely delivery of public goods by completing projects on or ahead of time.
He said the government was focussed on providing a corruption-free and transparent governance to the people without compromising quality.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 158.84 crore, the bridge at Keerian-Gandial will improve inter-state connectivity and benefit over 220,000 people living on the two sides — Kathua in Jammu and Pathankot in Punjab.
It will reduce the distance between the two cities from 45 km to 8.6 km, the government said.
Gadkari said the national highway network in Jammu and Kashmir had seen an increase of 969 km in the last four years.
“The total length of national highways in the state was 1,695 km in 2014, which has gone up to 2,664 km in 2018. The number of national highways has also gone up from 7 to 14. New national highways of 969 km were announced during the period,” he said.
He said his Ministry was executing 16 projects worth Rs 45,107 crore in the state under the Prime Minister’s special development package announced in November 2015.
“Of these, work worth Rs 30,000 crore have already started,” Gadkari said.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Saytapal Malik said that with the Centre’s support, no project would be left incomplete.
Two major road corridors are being built in Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Leh.
“The Chenani-Nashri tunnel road under the first is the largest highway tunnel in the country. It has resulted in reducing the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two and a half hours while the distance between the two has come down by 30 km. The tunnel is benefitting by way of making travel possible throughout the year,” the Ministry said in a statement.