Work has commenced on the first-of-its-kind Katra (Jammu & Kashmir)-Delhi Express Road Corridor, which will be ready by 2023. Once the stretch becomes fully functional, the travel time from Katra to Delhi will get reduced to around six and a half hours, and from Jammu to Delhi to just about six hours.
Disclosing this in New Delhi on Wednesday, Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that once this express road corridor becomes functional, people will prefer to travel to Delhi by road instead of undertaking a journey by train or by air. The hallmark of this road corridor is that it will connect the holy cities of Katra and Amritsar, and at the same time offer connectivity to some other major important religious shrines between the two destinations, he said.
Dr. Singh further informed that following the completion of the survey by M/s Feedback Consultants Ltd, the process of land acquisition was nearly complete and the work on the ground has started. Estimated to cost over Rs 350 billion, the important cities through which this expressway will pass include Jammu and Kathua, in J&K, and Jalandhar, Amritsar, Kapurthala and Ludhiana in, Punjab.
Meanwhile, Dr. Singh also informed that the simultaneous widening of the National Highway (NH) between Pathankot and Jammu was also being undertaken, to upgrade it from the present four to six-lane, which will be a great boon for the commuters between Jammu, Kathua and Pathankot.
Scheduled to be completed within a timeline of three years, Dr. Singh said the road corridor will prove to be a path-breaking in promoting industry and investments in the entire region. It will also pave the way for the growth of economic hubs in cities like Kathua and Jammu.
Dr. Singh, who is a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) representing Katra Vaishno Devi, was pursuing this project since 2015. He had first disclosed having submitted a proposal to this effect with the Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, three and a half years ago.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the liberal Central Government funding to build a series of landmark new roads and bridges in the region during the last six years, Dr. Singh recalled that some of the monumental works undertaken included the state-of-the-art Chenani-Nashri tunnel.