Four Lane Jammu, Srinagar National Highway By 2008: Mir
19 March 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Minister of State for Works Ghulam Ahmed Mir has said that Jammu and Kashmir State will be having four lane alternate National Highway by 2008. In his spell binding and impressive maiden speech in Legislative Assembly today the Minister said the work for this project has been launched in many sectors under the North South Corridor Highway Express programme. When completed the road would shorten the distance from Jammu to Srinagar by 70 kilometers and enhance the plying speed from present 25 kilometers to 50 kilometers. The road would have underground tunnels at Nowgam and Kud capable of withstanding all niceties and vagaries of weather. he added. The Minister who was replying to the annual grants of his Ministry in the House during second sitting today said another two highway projects, Mugal Road, Batote Kishtwar, Chatru, Wailoo road have also been identified and preliminary works started to open up the Valley and other areas to better economic activities. He said the special attention has been paid to the road connectivity under the Prime Minister's reconstruction plan and gigantic road projects including Anantnag- Khanabal-Phalgam road, two lane Srinagar-Kargil- Leh road, Sarchapadamp, Leh road, Srinagar-Uri-Jehlum Valley road, Leh Manali road, Narbal Gulmarg road, Bhadarwah, Himachal road. Mr Mir who stressed on evolving a consensus that no new works should be taken up in hand till the old projects are not completed assured the House that his Ministry is committed to ensure the quality of the constructional works and their completion in time. He said he is strictly against abandoning the old works and taking up new projects in hand as this way we are deceiving ourselves and the people as well. Lauding the role of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in managing the huge funding under Prime Minister's reconstruction programme 'ADB, PMGSY CRF' etc through his constant advocacy for seeking liberal Central assistance for the welfare of the state , he said these programmes would all together change the development scenario in the state especially in roads and bridges sector. He said after taking over as the Chief Minister of the state Mufti Mohammed Sayeed took personnel interest in rebuilding the damaged infrastructure for the overall development of the state. He said the people have much expectations with this Department because throughout world the road connectivity is of major importance as the prosperity of a nation is linked to it. He said if the state can't compete the Andhra and Karnataka in electronics but it has a lot of natural scope in tourism and for providing a boost to tourism trade road connectivity is must. Referring to PMGSY, he said these are time bound schemes and have been started in rural areas throughout the state in consultation with MLAs. Under this category Rs 91 crore schemes are under execution, he added. Besides another lot of 65 schemes in third phase have been referred to Centre for assistance, he said. The Minister called for active cooperation of members of either side in his efforts to streamline the Engineering Department and involving of public representatives in execution of works. He also sought cooperation in posting and transfers of engineers, which he said should not be frequent without the reason and completion of tenure so that delays in completion of works are avoided. Giving details of achievements in road connectivity sector he said government in a short tenure of two years has been able to register remarkable progress due to the capable and astute leadership of Chief Minister who from the day first gave directions for changing the developmental scenario of the state by involving the people in all activities of public interest. After the Minister's speech the opposition members were unanimous in withdrawing the cut motions and the grants to the tune of 6,69,3573000 were passed with voice vote. Earlier all the members cutting across their party lines praised the Minister and initiative taken by him in improving the efficient of the Department. It was from the firebrand NC leaders Ali Mohammed Sagar, Dr Mehboob Beg, Sharif -u-Din Shariq to Mubarak Gul, Ajay Sadhotra, Rashpal Singh, Abdul Gani Malik, G M Jan, Mohammed Abas, Javed Rana, Mushtaq Bukhari and Kesar jamshed Lone that all showered praises on the young Minister for his performance. The NC leaders said the people have many expectations from this young and dynamic Minister who has the capacity to improve the functioning of the Department to a great extent. Even Ali Mohammed Sagar and Mubarak Gul made strong pleas that the Department needs the full fledged Ministry. Ali Mohammed Sagar expressed the hope that the previous ministers have not taken up the MLAs into confidence in execution of works in their constituencies but you being young can serve the people in a better way. He also expressed the hope that the Minister will bring transparency in all aspects and make the Department a premier establishment. Dr Mehboob Beg said being a young and dynamic Minister we have high hopes in you. He stressed on renovation of roads in Anantnag especially from Lal Chowk to District Hospital which is in worst condition. Besides he stressed on completion of work on Qazibagh bridge. Balwant Singh Mankotia of NPP said no MLA has any grievances with the Minister. He however stressed on reviewing the guidelines of ADB. G M Jan demanded establishment of Mechanical Division in Poonch while Abdul Gani Malik demanded that scheme abandoned be now completed. Sartaj Madni of PDP turned the Minister's attention towards the narrowing of roads in his Constituency due to encroachments. Kesar Jamshed Loan demanded construction of dak-bungalow in his Constituency while his party colleague Sharif-u-Din Shariq demanded construction of various roads in his Constituency. Saifullah Mir of NC expressed the hope that Kupwara which has been neglected previously will get due attention from a young and dynamic Minister like Mir. Ajay Sadhotra also said that he has no grievances with the Minister Moreover his team is also good. He expressed the hope that the Minister will not hesitate in equal distribution of funds. Mubarak Gul stressed on framing a proper policy regarding the execution of works. Rashpal Sing while praising the Minister however said that Rajouri and Poonch have been ignored in state sector and other scheme. His Party colleague Mian Altaf stressed on repairs of roads in far flung areas. NC's Mohammed Aslam said Rajouri has been deprived in funds allocation and expressed the hope that the work will be taken up in hand on Mugal road. Mohammed Khalil Naik of CPI (M) expressed concern over the deteriorating condition of roads in Wachi Constituency. Javed Rana of NC and Peer Mohammed Hussian of PDP and Moulvi Abdul Rashid, Dr Manohar Lal, Khem Lata Wakhloo and Mohammed Sayeed Akhoon also stressed on construction of various roads in their respective constituencies.