Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari

SRINAGAR — Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, has sanctioned a significant allocation of funds for vital infrastructure projects in Jammu & Kashmir, aimed at enhancing connectivity and boosting tourism in the region.

Gadkari has greenlit Rs. 1,404.94 crores for the widening and strengthening project of the Rafiabad – Kupwara – Chowkibal – Tangdhar – Chamkot section of National Highway-701. This project, executed under Project Beacon in Baramulla & Kupwara districts, will transform the 51-kilometre route into a two-lane road with paved shoulders, crucial for logistical operations and integral to the development of the tourism sector in North Kashmir.

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Additionally, an allocation of Rs. 562.40 crores has been approved for the upgradation and strengthening project of the Nashri-Chenani section of National Highway-244, spanning 39.10 kilometres in districts Udhampur & Ramban. This initiative, operating under the EPC mode, is expected to enhance connectivity to the prominent tourist spot of Patnitop, fostering economic development in the region.

Furthermore, Gadkari has earmarked Rs. 126.58 crores for the development, operation, and maintenance of a ropeway from SDA Parking (near Zabarwan Park) to Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar district.

Spanning 1.05 kilometres, this project, operating on the Hybrid Annuity Mode, will utilize MonoCable Detachable Gondola (MDG) technology with a capacity to transport 700 passengers per hour per direction (PPHPD). The initiative is designed to offer a panoramic view of Srinagar city and Dal Lake, providing a safe and convenient transportation means.

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Gadkari emphasized that the ropeway project would ensure 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 will serve as an eco-friendly mode of transport, create employment opportunities for the local populace, and bring economic benefits to the region by enhancing tourism.

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