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NHAI to begin work on Rs 4,000-crore Chattergala tunnel in J&K at earliest: Nitin Gadkari

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SRINAGAR: The NHAI will begin work on the Rs 4,000-crore Chattergala tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir at the earliest, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

Gadkari on Monday chaired a review meeting that was also attended by Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh.

“The prestigious Chhatergala tunnel work, costing about Rs 4,000 crore, will be executed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the underpasses on the Kathua express corridor section, wherever demanded by the public, will be undertaken at the earliest,” an official spokesperson said after the review meeting.

During the meeting, Singh thanked Gadkari for accepting most of the suggestions and proposals put across by him.

Singh said the proposal for the tunnel was initiated about six years ago and the detailed project report prepared by the Border Roads Organisation but the work could not be started due to a lack of funds.

Now, it has been decided that the NHAI will undertake construction of the new national highway from Lakhanpur to Basohli-Bani to Bhaderwah-Doda.

“Once this highway is complete, it will be a game changer as it will provide all-weather connectivity between Lakhanpur and Doda district via the tourist spots of Basohli and Bani, in addition to reducing travel time and giving a boost to businesses, employment and revenue generation,” Singh said.

Referring to the under-construction Delhi-Katra express corridor, Singh recalled that it was approved after a lot of effort that began in 2015. There were initial delays because Punjab had also demanded a similar corridor for the highway between Delhi and Amritsar.

“Finally, after arriving at a compromise to have an express corridor between Delhi and Katra with stopovers in Amritsar and Kathua, the project was finalised,” he said.

Singh said the corridor is in the last phase of construction and expressed satisfaction that the public demand for underpasses at places such as Hatli, Rajbagh, Chann Arorian, Chapper and Kootah had been accepted for the convenience of locals. (PTI)

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