Srinagar, Former minister and MLA Amirakadal Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari has termed the meeting between Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport as a potential game changer in the development of the state through better connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir.
The former minister for public works said that roads and tunnels provide basic inputs for the all-round socio-economic development of any State and more particularly connectivity acts as an enabler for reducing poverty by providing a platform for broader partnerships for the development.
While lauding the outcome of the Mehbooba-Gadkari meeting, Bukhari said the approval accorded to two ambitious tunnel projects viz Mughal Road tunnel and Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel will usher in a new era of prosperity in the State. “Among other ambitious projects, these tunnels were the dream of Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Saheb and the same has now come true,” the former minister for Public Works observed.
He said that Late Mufti Saheb would consider connectivity as a gateway to the development of the State and would always aspire to provide dependable road links between the two divisions of Jammu and Kashmir. “These two major tunnel projects will surely give a major flip to intra-state connectivity and thus pave way for a new era of development for all its regions,” remarked Bukhari.
He said that there was a dire necessity of constructing these tunnels, not only to provide all weather connectivity within the State but also to keep the different regions connected throughout the year.
The former minister hoped for an early approval from the central government for the construction of an 18-kilometre tunnel at Razdhan pass in order to connect Gurez with rest of the Valley throughout the year. Similarly, he urged for an approval for the construction of a 6.5-kilometre tunnel at Sadhna that will improve the connectivity with the Tangdhar area in Kupwara district.
Bukhari also hailed another decision of the meeting with regard to the consideration of Lakhanpur-Mahanpur-Basohli-Bani-Doda road as a new national highway. He said that this highway will surely provide an alternative connectivity route to the State and more particularly a huge area of the erstwhile Doda district will be connected in a better manner.
Appreciating the efforts of the State government for raising and seeking redressal of the connectivity issues faced by the people in the State, Bukhari said the journey between Lakhanpur and Doda through newly proposed highway will not only be safe but shall take no more than few hours that too during harsh climatic conditions.
Demanding expeditious completion of work on the 66-Kilometre Qazigund-Srinagar highway, Bukhari said that road connectivity must continue as a top priority of the present dispensation led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Bukhari applauded the chief minister for raising the slow pace of dredging in river Jhelum during here meeting wherein the union minister has directed for a coordinated approach between different ministries in consultation with the State Government to sort out the issue at an earliest.
He also welcomed various other decisions of the meeting like finalisation of the bidding process for Rs 8000 Cr Zojilla tunnel, formulation of Detailed Project Report for Poonch-Uri road connecting Pir Panchal with Kashmir valley and ordering the speedy commencement of work on the construction of ring roads in Jammu and Srinagar capital cities.