(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)
KO Photo By Abid Bhat
Kargil: Over Rs one lakh crore is being spent only for tunnels in Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir and in the next two year the Centre will change the development scenario in the two Union territories, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
The Union minister for road transport and highways inspected the eastern portal of the under-construction Zojila tunnel and said the work is being carried out on a war footing and the tunnel will be an economic corridor for Ladakh and Kashmir.
“Within two years, we will change the scenario of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. We will provide more infrastructure facilities within two years. Availability of funds is not a problem, we need cooperation for land acquisition and other works,” he said.
The minister said the centre is spending more than Rs one lakh crore only for tunnels in Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir and in the next phase another project worth Rs one lakh crore would be sanctioned.
Earlier, Ladakh Lt Governor Radha Krishna Mathur and Chairman and Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC, Kargil Feroz Ahmad Khan along senior officers of local administration and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) received Gadkari on his arrival at the eastern portal of the Zojila tunnel.
Accompanied by the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways and Civil Aviation, Gen V K Singh (retd), Gadkari inspected the pace of ongoing works of the tunnel.
“Zojila tunnel is supposed to be the longest tunnel in Asia and this is the first time that the Centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to start its work,” Gadkari said.
He said the tunnel construction work at Zojila is very difficult.
Exuding confidence that the tunnel will be completed before the stipulated time, the minister said, “We can overcome all problems.” Gadkari said efforts are being made to complete the work by end of 2023.
“When Ladakh and Kashmir get good roads, good tunnels, it will kickstart the socio-economic progress of this area. It is going to create employment,” the Union statement said.
“We are going to create more employment potential for the local youth of Ladakh and Kashmir. We will give the highest priority for employment to local people. It is going to eradicate poverty. It would be a great socio-economic transformation,” he said.
Gadkari said apart from financial audit, the performance of any project is very important. “People who are working fast and in a time-bound, result-oriented and corruption-free manner, we will give them a priority for allocating more work.”
“But we need speed, quality and use of best technology. We do not want to compromise with the quality and also want to reduce the cost,” the Union minister said.
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