JAMMU – Announcing that the ambitious Rs. 49 crore New Toll Plaza at Lakhanpur will be commissioned after 15 days, the Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather today said construction of the plaza is another milestone of the present government towards infrastructural development for making J&K a model state in the country.
During his inspection to the New Toll Plaza at Lakhanpur today, along with senior functionaries of the government, Mr. Rather said that the plaza will go a long way in curtailing frequent jams due to massive vehicular movement at the Lakhanpur, the Gate way to J&K, besides providing modern facilities to the transporters, commuters and traders coming and going outside the state. It will also improve working conditions for the field staff of the Excise and Commercial Taxes Departments besides minimizing smoke and dust pollution. He said provision of improved facilities and comfort to the people as well as employees in all spheres of life is the prime concern of the government. He asked the officers to ensure judicious use of funds and quality material for various works without any compromise.
The Minister was accompanied by the Financial Commissioner Finance, Mr. Iqbal Khanday, Commissioner Secretary R&B, Mrs. Tanveer Jehan, Commissioner Secretary PHE, Mr. Pawan Kotwal, Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Mrs. Zahida Khan, Commissioner Excise, J&K, Mrs. Veneeta Gupta, Commissioner Sales Tax, Mr. Kifayat Rizvi, Chief Engineer, PDD, Jammu, Chief Engineer, R&B, Jammu, Managing Director JKPCC, DIG Traffic and other concerned officers.
After inspection of the Toll Plaza, Mr. Rather also chaired a high level meeting and took a broad review of the latest status of works on the Toll Plaza, after which he gave final touches to the programme for its inauguration. He directed the engineers of PHE and Power Departments to restore water and power supply to the whole complex upto 30th November this month positively so that the inauguration of the Toll Plaza is ensured anytime during the first week of the next month. He also directed the Deputy Commissioner, Kathua and DC Excise, Lakhanpur Toll Post to process the case for acquisition of additional 108 kanal of land from the Northern Railways for further expansion of the Toll Plaza. He also directed the concerned officers to take advanced measures to ensure protection of the Toll Plaza due to excavation in the Ravi River adding that availability of funds for this purpose, will not be any constraint.
Mr. Iqbal Khanday asked the concerned offices to take up the matter regarding excavation in Ravi River with the Punjab Government to seek protection for the Toll Plaza as the river has reportedly changed its course towards Punjab side.
It was informed that the new Toll Plaza, Lakhanpur shall be spreading over an area of 156 kanals with nine modern Tax collection booths and electronic weigh bridges, separate bays for trucks, cars and buses, shelter building for drivers with a capacity to accommodate 145 drivers for night stays, 3 open Air Restaurants where 200 persons can have food at a time, an Emporium to show case artefacts of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions of the state and modern toilet blocks. The Toll Plaza has also a vast parking yard to accommodate about 200 trucks at a time.
The meeting also reviewed the pace of work Toll Post Nagri which is coming up at a revised cost of Rs. 13.26 crore. An amount of Rs. 9.29 crore has already been incurred on it upto ending October this year.
The Minister, while expressing his dismay over the slow pace of work on the Toll Plaza, directed the Chief Engineer R&B, Jammu to complete its construction within 6 months.
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