Fri, 19 Aug 2022

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], August 4 (ANI): The pace of construction of roads has increased after the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019 from 6.54 kilometres to 20.6 kilometres a day. Now, the total length of roads in Jammu and Kashmir has touched 41,141 kilometres.

The increased pace of macadamization of roads and growing road length indicate how rapidly Jammu and Kashmir has developed during the past three years.

According to official data, road length in Jammu and Kashmir has increased to 41,141 kilometres and the percentage of blacktop roads has reached 74 per cent as compared to 66 per cent in 2019.

Under pothole-free road programme, a target of 5,900 kilometres was made for 2021-22 of which 4,600 kilometres of road length have been made pothole-free so far.

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir this year was once again ranked among the top three at the national level for construction of road length per year under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) as the PWD constructed PMGSY road length of 3,284 kms in 2021-22 and connected 114 habitations through road networks by executing 427 schemes in a year.

Jammu and Kashmir has continued to improve its performance for construction of road length per year since 2019 as its ranking advanced from 12th to 9th in 2019-20 and then third for the consecutive years 2020-21 and 2021-2022.

All habitations, with over 1,000 population as per the 2011 census, have been provided road connectivity. The provision of road connectivity for the habitations with 500 population by 2022-23 is also being taken up.

Reforms in PWDDuring the past three years, PWD has witnessed massive reforms, which include the implementation of JK PWD Engineering Manual 2021, formulation of Road Maintenance Policy-2021, JK Macadamization (execution and quality control) and DLP Enforcement Manual, SOP for regular departmental actions, introduction of online management monitoring accounting system, introduction of two-party quality control mechanism, introduction of Tameer Taraqqi and Hamari Sadak mobile Apps, etc.

In 2021-2022, the Public Works Department, according to the official data, redressed 356 grievances on Meri Sadak and 32 on CPGRAMS-- Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System, an online platform available to the citizens 24x7 to lodge their grievances with the government.

For 70 years JK had no proper road connectivityIt's unfortunate but true that JK was without proper road connectivity for 70 years. It took 12 to 14 hours to cover 300 km distance from Srinagar to Jammu and vice-versa, during the past three years the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has been revamped and now it takes only 6 to 7 hours to travel between the two capital cities of JK.

The JK's so-called special status acted as the biggest impediment in its development with the common man being the biggest sufferer. The scrapping of Article 370 led to the common man becoming a priority.

The former rulers in the erstwhile state promised the moon and stars to the people but failed to deliver. From 1947 to 2019 they just kept people busy by making announcements about the project reports being ready. But these reports never saw the light of the day.

Connectivity holds the keyAfter 2019, the Centre worked on these project reports and ensured that common people get all the benefits which they couldn't get for seven decades. Many development projects that were in limbo or incomplete have become a reality and many more are likely to come up in the next few years.

Connectivity holds the key and the dispensation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the issue of JK's connectivity with the rest of the country gets resolved once in for all.

During the past three years, JK has become like other parts of the country. The denizens of the Himalayan region are getting what they deserve. They were kept away from the country under the illusion of "special status" by their so-called "Messiahs," who ruled the erstwhile state for 70 years but failed to deliver.

From 1947 to 2019 politicians kept people busy by raising slogans and making announcements. Proper road connectivity is the lifeline of any region and JK after August 5, 2019, is moving closer towards to the best possible connectivity. Things are moving at a fast pace and no one is being allowed to become complacent. Results and change are visible and the figures are speaking.

Connecting inaccessible habitationsThe government has embarked on a mission to connect the habitations which remained inaccessible since 1947. The road network is being expanded, especially in rural and far-flung areas. Many targets have been achieved under various schemes implemented for the construction, improvement and upgradation of roads and bridges.

The schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), Bridge Programme, Central RoadInfrastructure fund (CRIF), NABARD, Road Sector, CitiesTowns (Macdamization), Languishing Projects and Pothole Free Road schemes etc are being implemented in letter and spirit.

The politicians, who ruled JK in the yesteryears had forgotten that road connectivity holds the key to developing the rural areas. The link roads connecting villages with the main roads were either not constructed or were never macadamized.

Good governance concept was missingThe very concept of providing good governance was missing in JK till August 2019. Things changed after Jammu and Kashmir's transition into a Union Territory. The helmsmen shifted their focus toward the issues confronting the common man and tried to come up with solutions. As JK celebrates the third anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370, the JK administration can proudly claim that it has achieved phenomenal success in its endeavour to construct better roads in the Union Territory.

According to the officials 53 projects worth Rs 58,477 crores in various sectors such as roads, power, health, education, tourism, agriculture, skill development under the Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP) are under implementation in Jammu and Kashmir and more are in the offing. (ANI)

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