The widening of Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, would be completed by 2025, an official said. Project Director and Regional Officer National Highway Authority of India Purshottam Kumar told news agency—Kashmir News Observer , that there are different packages in the national highway and every package has different deadlines. He cited the example of Banhial sector saying it is divided in three parts with different deadlines.
The work on the last portion was started in August this year and it is to be completed in three years, so the whole national highway four-laning will be completed by August 2025. The widening work of the highway started in 2011 and was expected to be completed within five years. Officials said that with the four-laning, travel time would be reduced by half as the distance would be reduced by 50 kms bypassing a number of treacherous points.
They said that work on the Banihal-Nashri stretch, the most problematic, is underway. The stretch often witnesses landslides with rains leading to closure of the highway. In 2020, in view of the topography of the hilly terrain between Ramban and Banihal, a detailed project report (DPR) worth Rs 2,000 crore was formulated by the NHAI to complete the 16-km four-laning realigned project.
This includes more tunnels and bridges to avoid landsliding and sinking areas. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in July this year had said that work on the 60-km-road between Nashri and Banihal, in Ramban district, will be completed by December 7, 2023—(KNO)