Centre approves Rs 2,093 cr outlay for highway, ropeway projects in J&K

New Delhi : Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari announced on Friday that an allocation of Rs 2,093.92 crore has been approved for widening two highways and a ropeway project in Jammu and Kashmir.

The minister said an outlay of Rs 1404.94 crore has been approved for the widening and strengthening of the Rafiabad – Kupwara – Chowkibal – Tangdhar – Chamkot section of National Highway-701 in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said this initiative, executed under Project Beacon in Baramulla and Kupwara districts on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode under Package I, aims to transform the 51 km route into two-lanes. The highway is critical for logistics in the region as it forms a part of the strategic route connecting Baramulla and Kupwara districts. It plays a pivotal role and is integral to the development of the tourism sector in North Kashmir near the International Border

Gadkari said that an allocation of Rs 126.58 crore has been approved for the development, operation, and maintenance of a 1.5 km ropeway from SDA Parking (Near Zabarwan Park) to Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar district.

The initiative operates on the Hybrid Annuity Model, utilizing monocable detachable gondola (MDG) technology with a capacity to transport 700 persons per hour per direction. This project is designed to offer a panoramic view of Srinagar city and Dal Lake, providing a safe and convenient transportation means. It ensures easy access for individuals with disabilities and senior citizens to visit the temple, reducing travel time from approximately 30 minutes to about 5 minutes. Additionally, it serves as an eco-friendly mode for transport, creates employment opportunities for the local populace, and brings economic benefits to the region by enhancing tourism, the minister added.

He said an allocation of Rs 562.40 crore has also been approved for the upgradation and strengthening project of the Nashri- Chenani section of National Highway-244. Spanning 39.1 km in districts Udhampur and Ramban, this initiative operates on the EPC mode under National Highway (O).

The road’s enhancement is poised to offer improved connectivity to Patnitop, a tourist hotspot in Jammu, fostering economic development of the region.

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