The Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar highway will contribute to a four-fold rise in the footfall of tourists in Kashmir, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Tuesday. Gadkari, who inspected the Banihal-Qazigund tunnel and other projects in the union territory, said that upon their completion the travel time between from Delhi to Srinagar will be just 8 hours.
Key projects part of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway:
The 924-metre-long Banihal-Qazigund tunnel, being constructed to avoid a 3km landslide-prone region in Ramban district of Jammu, is part of the ongoing four-laning of the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway – the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country.
Joined by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Union ministers Jitendra Singh and Gen VK Singh, Gadkari also conducted a breakthrough of Sita Rama Passi Maroog via virtual mode through a controlled blast in the tunnel. He said this road was expected to be completed in two years.
Road projects worth ₹1.25 lakh crore are underway in the valley, Gadkari told the reporters. Three key roads are being constructed between Jammu and Srinagar, he added. The completion of these projects will also ensure a six hours travel time from Delhi to Katra – the base camp of the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi. “Presently the distance from Delhi to Katra is 727 km, this expressway will reduce the distance by 58 km,” Gadkari noted.
“…One of five tunnels with a length of 45 kilometres has been inaugurated today. The other three tunnels will be open by next year. One tunnel given to TATA will take some time for completion,” the minister for road, highways and transport said.
The work on the Jammu Srinagar national highway began in 2011 and includes a number of small and major tunnels, bridges and flyovers and is likely to be completed by the next year.
The improvement of key roads in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has the potential to significantly boost tourism in the region. One of the key routes that could contribute to this is the Srinagar-Leh highway, which passes through the picturesque Ladakh region of J&K. With better road infrastructure, it is possible to travel from Delhi to Srinagar in just 8 hours, which is a significant reduction in travel time compared to the current duration.
The Srinagar-Leh highway is a crucial road that connects the popular tourist destinations of Srinagar and Leh. The road passes through stunning landscapes, including the breathtaking Zoji La pass and the famous Drass Valley, known as the “Gateway to Ladakh”. Improvement of this road would not only reduce travel time, but also provide better connectivity and accessibility to the region, leading to an increase in tourism.
Another important road that could boost tourism in J&K is the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which is the main road that connects the winter capital of Jammu with the summer capital of Srinagar. The improvement of this road would provide better connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar, making it easier for tourists to travel between the two cities and explore the region’s natural beauty, including popular tourist spots such as Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg.
Furthermore, the Mughal Road, which is a historic road that connects the Poonch and Rajouri districts of J&K with the Kashmir Valley, has the potential to boost tourism in the region. This road passes through scenic landscapes and provides an alternate route for tourists to travel between Jammu and Srinagar, avoiding the busy Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. Improvement of this road would enhance connectivity and accessibility to the lesser-explored regions of Poonch and Rajouri, thereby promoting tourism in these areas.
The development and improvement of these key roads in J&K would not only reduce travel time and increase accessibility, but also contribute to the overall growth of tourism in the region. It would attract more tourists, create employment opportunities, and boost the local economy, ultimately leading to a four-fold increase in tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. However, it is important to ensure that these road development projects are carried out in an environmentally sustainable manner, taking into consideration the fragile ecosystem of the region and the preservation of its natural beauty.