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Nitin Gadkari, India's road and transport minister, attends a demonstration flight event for a Quest Aircraft Co. amphibious Kodiak plane, operated by SpiceJet Ltd., in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. SpiceJet, an Indian budget carrier that's seen its stock zoom 10-fold in three years, wants to open up the third-biggest aviation market even more by targeting the billion Indians whove never flown before, either because they can't afford it or because they dont live near a functioning airport. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Unveils Key Infrastructure Projects in Jammu & Kashmir

New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, recently announced major infrastructural projects in Jammu & Kashmir, signaling a significant investment in the region’s transportation and tourism sectors.

In a social media post, Nitin Gadkari revealed an allocation of Rs. 1404.94 crore for the Widening and Strengthening project of the Rafiabad – Kupwara – Chowkibal – Tangdhar – Chamkot section of National Highway-701. Executed under Project Beacon in Baramulla & Kupwara districts on the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Mode under Package I, this initiative aims to transform the 51 km route into a 2-lane highway with paved shoulders. The strategic significance of this route lies in its critical role in regional logistics and its integral connection between Baramulla and Kupwara districts, fostering the development of the tourism sector in North Kashmir near the International Border.

In another announcement, Gadkari stated that Rs. 126.58 crore has been approved for the development, operation, and maintenance of a Ropeway from SDA Parking (Near Zabarwan Park) to Shankaracharya Temple. Spanning 1.05 km in Srinagar district, this project operates on the Hybrid Annuity Mode, utilizing MonoCable Detachable Gondola (MDG) Technology. With a capacity to transport 700 passengers per hour per direction (PPHPD), the ropeway is designed to offer a panoramic view of Srinagar city and Dal Lake. It provides a safe and convenient transportation means, ensuring easy access for individuals with disabilities and senior citizens to visit the temple, reducing travel time from approximately 30 minutes to about 5 minutes. Additionally, it serves as an eco-friendly mode of transport, creating employment opportunities for the local populace and bringing economic benefits to the region by enhancing tourism.

The Union Minister also shared that Rs. 562.40 crore has been allocated for the Upgradation and Strengthening project of the Nashri-Chenani section of National Highway-244. Spanning 39.10 km in districts Udhampur & Ramban, this initiative operates on the EPC mode under National Highway (O). With Patnitop being a prominent tourist spot, the enhancement of this road is poised to offer improved connectivity to Patnitop, fostering the economic development of the region.

These projects underscore the government’s commitment to bolstering infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir, promoting regional connectivity, and harnessing the potential of the tourism sector for economic growth. Shri Nitin Gadkari emphasized that these initiatives align with the overall development goals for the region, contributing to enhanced accessibility, safety, and economic prosperity.

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