After August 5, 2019, there is a visible change in every field, Jitendra Singh said

This year's historic budget for Jammu & Kashmir will help in rebuilding the economy, create jobs and usher in all-round development for the Union Territory, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Monday.

Pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had allocated more than ₹1,08,62 crore in the budget for Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said this was the highest ever budget for J&K and a historic one.

The Minister, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) from the UT, underlined that after August 5, 2019, there is a visible change in every field, whether related to unfinished projects, implementation of centrally sponsored schemes, infrastructure development and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh, who is the Union Minister of State Science & Technology; Earth Sciences; PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, was reviewing the progress of Highways and Roads projects of Jammu and Kashmir.

He was briefed on the status of ongoing projects by Managing Director of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) K.K.Pathak.

According to an official press release, Pathak assured the Minister that all the ongoing projects would be completed in a time bound manner, though some work got hampered due to COVID and timelines had to be extended.

Pathak informed the minister that work on most of the 17 Highways Project with a sanctioned cost of over Rs 15,385 Crore is going on smoothly. Out of 17 approved projects, 12 are in Jammu region, while 5 are in Kashmir region.

Singh noted that out of 12 such projects, 6 major ones are in his Lok Sabha constituency of Udhampur-Kathua-Doda.

These include Chenani-Sudhmahadev Road, Goha-Khellani Package 1 and 2, Goha-Khellani Package 3 that is Khellani Tunnel and Khillani-Khanabal package-2.

The Minister said that out of 6 Prospective Projects to be awarded in near future, 5 are in the Jammu region and here also Sudhmahadev-Daranga Tunnel package 1 and 2 fall in his Parliamentary Constituency.

In March this year, Singh had met Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari for allocation of funds to enable timely completion of the proposed Chattergala Tunnel.

This will connect district Kathua with district Doda in Jammu & Kashmir, enroute the new Highway via Basohli-Bani through Chattergalla to touch Bhaderwah and Doda.

The project will provide all-weather alternate road connectivity between the two distant regions and reducing the travel time from Doda to Lakhanpur to just around four hours.