ROAD TO EVERY VILLAGE: – A cornerstone of economic growth and development in Jammu and Kashmir
SRINAGAR, MAY 02: Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), Kupwara Unit plays a vital role in developing road network in farflung and remote areas of hilly and border district Kupwara. The Yojana has developed number of roads which connected hundreds of villages and habitations with major towns and district headquarter sofar, thereby transforming the socio-economic status of the rural populace.
Dal to Wanganbhutoo road is one such road in district Kupwara which was developed by PMGSY. “The road was sanctioned by Union Government during November -2019 under PMGSY Package No: JK082002”, said Executive Engineer PMGSY, Kupwara, Mushtaq Ahmad, adding that the Road takes off from Kupwara-Kalaroos highway, 15 Km from Kupwara headquarter. The work was started in Dec-2020 (Post Covid-19 restrictions). But despite Covid, the work was executed and the field staff of PMGSY department put-in lot of efforts to execute the work and successfully completed the project, added the Engineer. The road, having a length of 5.70 Km, connects habitations namely Dal, Qasba Shukurpora and Wangbhutoo benefited a total population of 7900 souls and has improved the connectivity of the whole area with the district headquarters.
The road has improved the accessibility of health facilities, Agriculture and Horticulture of the area and proved as game changer to give fillip to socio-economic development in the area. The road was physically completed in Dec-2021 for an amount of Rs.648 Lakhs by way of earthwork cutting and filling, protection works (R & B Walls) including l/c and was macadamized for a length of 5.70 Km. The local people of these villages have appreciated the efforts of PMGSY staff and expressed gratitude towards the LG Administration.
Transport infrastructure is one of the most important parameters which is regarded as the key driver of economic growth and economic development of a region. Amongst the prevalent forms of transport systems like roadways, railways, airways and waterways, road transport is considered as most accessible and reliable medium of transport.
In a region like the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir where majority of the landscape is rural, hilly and mountainous, road transport plays a pivotal role in economic growth and development. In District Reasi, the PMGSY scheme has developed number of roads which connected hundreds of villages and habitations with major towns and district headquarter so far, thereby transforming the socio-economic status of the rural populace. Agar-Jitto interior PMGSY road is one such road in the district.”The road connects 3-4 Panchayat habitations of Block Katra”, says Smt. Prem Lata, Sarpanch Agar-Jitto.
The road has improved the connectivity of the whole area. The Sarpanch is all praise for the Lieutenant Governor’s administration and District administration Reasi in particular. She explains how this road is changing the lives of inhabitants of not only village Agar Jitto but also three other Panchayats that are connected through it. “Earlier the track was not macadamized and commuters had to face a lot of hardships especially during rainy reason when the road would become slippery and muddy”, says the Sarpanch. “Students were particularly affected as they had to travel more than six Kilometres to reach the school that has now been reduced to just 2 Kilometres thereby effectively reducing the distance by more than 5 Kilometres.
Moreover, this Macadamized road has now facilitated all weather connectivity to the habitations it has connected, which was not the case earlier.” The local people of these villages have appreciated the efforts of PMGSY staff and expressed gratitude towards the LG Administration.In consonance with this spirit, road to every village in Jammu and Kashmir is going to be a reality soon. The Public Works Department is speeding up execution of works under Capex, CSS, and PMGSY to make road to every village in J&K a reality. On enhancing connectivity in the border villages including for border guarding forces, all the border posts in J&K will be connected with the roads during the next year.
Jammu and Kashmir constructed a record 3167 km of rural roads in 2020-21 under PMGSY, thereby providing safe and secure all-connectivity to remote habitations across the Union Territory. In 2018-19, 1622kms PMGSY roads were constructed and 2387kms roads were blacktopped, in2019-20 1325kms PMGSY roads were constructed and 2290kms were blacktopped, in 2020-21, 3167kms PMGSY roads were constructed and 5500kms were blacktopped and in 2021-22, 2480 kms PMGSY roads were constructed and 6625 kms blacktopped as on 15.03.2022.
2353 PMGSY projects covering 16448km connecting 2033 habitations were completed since inception. Under PMGSY, J&K ranked No. 4that national level in terms of road length achieved. In addition, 125 bridges are to be constructed to provide connectivity to far-flung areas.
NABARD is another resource instrument for Rural Roads. During 2018-19, 28 Projects costing Rs. 80.96 Crores, 2019-20, 84 Projects costing Rs. 231.29 Crores, 2020-21, 115 Projects costing 418.67 Crores, 2021-22, 400 Projects costing Rs. 1585.38 Crores have been sanctioned.
6.50 km Z-Morh Tunnel (2378 crore) on Srinagar-Sonamarg road is to be completed by December,2023. Escape Tunnel has been completed before time to facilitate Sonamarg travel during winters.
8.45 Km twin-tube Qazigund-Banihal Tunnel has been completed at a cost of Rs3127 crore.
Construction of 14.15km two lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel with 14.20 km parallel escape is in progress. Foundation stone of 4 tunnels on Akhnoor-Poonch section of NH 144A has been laid. DPR of 10.30 km Singhpora-Vailoo Tunnel under Sinthan pass on NH-244 has been approved. 8 km Sudhmahadev- Dranga tunnels 1 and 2 on NH- 244 have been approved.
The foundation stone of two 4- lane twin-tube tunnels-the 4.38km Marog to Digdole , and 3.2 km Digdole to khooniNallah besides viaducts of 6 km at Mompassi to Sherbibi and between Nashri-Ramban has been laid.
A total of Rs8681 crore has been allotted for 130km portion on 6 lane Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway. Once completed, the travel time from Delhi to Katra will be reduced to 5 hours.
In order to decongest Jammu city, 58km Semi Ring road is being built and work on 4 lane Semi ring road Srinagar started from 6th August 2021. Phase 2 of the project from Sumbal to Wayul approved, DPR under preparation. Phase 3 from Lasjan to Rajbagh to Khanyar to pandach to Ganderbal to Wayul is at planning stage.
Double laning of Akhnoor- Poonchroad has been started at Rs. 3185 crore. Domel- Bhamla Road NH-144 uprgadation is going on costing Rs.55.05 Crore. Double laning of Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khellani-kishtwar-Chatroo-Anantnag stretch of NH-244 has been started at Rs. 4289 crore.
NH-444 Srinagar- Pulwama- Shopian- Kulgam – Qazigund has been sanctioned including Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam Bypasses. Land acquisitions are at final stages for Bypasses and 80% work on this Project has been completed during 2020-22.
3 Flyovers at Bemina (.88 KM) costing Rs. 36.9 Crore, Nowgam (.85 KM) costing Rs. 49.3 Crore and Sanat Nagar junctions have been sanctioned and work started on Bemina and Nowgam flyovers.
83 CRF projects costing Rs.1010 crore to be funded through JKIDFC are scheduled to be completed by March 2023.
In addition road travel has become faster and safer in Jammu and Kashmir. Travel time from Jammu to Kishtwar reduced has been reduced from 7.5hours to 5 hours. Travel time from Jammu to Doda on NH-244 has been reduced from 5.5 hours to 3.5 hours. Travel time between Srinagar and Jammu has got reduced from 7-12 hours to 5.5 hours for LMVs. Travel time from Srinagar to Gulmarg has got reduced from 3 hours to 1.5 hours. Similarly, layover for trucks travelling on Srinagar-Jammu section of NH-44 decreases from 24-72 hours to 12 hours.
Furthermore, highest daily macadamisation has also been registered in Jammu and Kashmir. Daily average for macadamisation increases from 6.27 km per day during 2019-20 to 14.7 km per day 2020-21. An average of 21.92km per day has been achieved in 2021-22 till 15.03.2022. 5035 km roads macadamisation completed during 2020-21 under various Central and UT schemes and for 2021-22, target is 8000 Km which is likely to be achieved.
Road to every village project of government of union territory is un doubtly a corner stone of economic growth and development and it will help in addressing regional imbalance in Jammu and Kashmir.