The Bold Voice of J&K

‘Bharat Mala’

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If  former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave  the scheme of building  Golden Quadrilateral to connect all the corners of the country with a net work of highways, the proposed government plan of  ‘Bharat Mala’ will connect all untouched areas of the hinterland which will boost  the rural economy. Under the new project Centre is proposing to add 5,000 km road network for rural areas primarily.  The road network will cover the entire Jammu and Kashmir, North East, Odisha, West Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan Uttar Pradesh, Tamilnadu  and Himachal Pradesh besides covering the entire coastal areas. The proposed project comes for J and K as a big relief as rural areas have very poor connectivity with bad roads especially in far flung areas. In this context Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed meeting Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari  recently holds importance. Keeping the  geographical spread and weather conditions J and K needs reliable all weather  network of roads so that the life and trade is not affected  and neither the State has to bear the additional burden  for providing relief  and rescue  during rainy season and winters which is regular feature every year. Highways always remained victims of neglect and vagaries of weather in the State. Not only this a large chunk of J and K in rural areas are devoid of reliable good road connectivity and if the new plan is implemented in its sincerity it should bring development in these areas. A large section of Jammu- Srinagar Highway which passes through Udhampur,  Ramban, Banihal remains at the mercy of the weather. This stretch passes through thickly populated major towns of Nagrota, Udhampur, Batote, Qazigund and other areas but as far as roads in the interiors in these areas are concerned they are in really bad shape. Along with these the proposed Central road project will give the much  needed flip to the Mughal Road which deserves to be elevated to the status of National Highway keeping its all weather  serviceability  factor. This also will be booster dose for the area’s   economy and tourism. The Vajpayee scheme changed the face of roads in the State especially highways  right from Lakhanpur entry point up to Srinagar  and now ‘Bharat Mala’  if implemented  in right earnest  will give a boost to the rural economy of the State.

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