Mughal Road Highway, Subject To DPR: GoI

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SRINAGAR — The Mughal road, connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with south Kashmir’s Shopian, is approved as “in-Principle” as National Highway but “subjected to outcome of Detailed Project Report”, government of India said on Thursday.

Also the Qazigund- Banihal tunnel project, undertaken by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), is scheduled to be completed by July 2020, it said.

Responding to series of questions by National conference parliamentarian and former high court judge, Hasnain Masoodi as well as BJP’s Lok Sabha member Jugal Kishore Sharma, minister of road transport and highways, Nitin Jairam Gadkari  said that in order to enhance the capacity of National Highways (NHs) in Jammu & Kashmir, Government has undertaken Seventeen major road development projects in aggregate length of 1,554 km.

“The progress of Qazigund- Banihal tunnel project on NH-44undertaken by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is 75.24% against the fund allocated amounting to Rs 2,648 crore for the project and scheduled to be completed by July, 2020,” he said. The work of preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) costing Rs 3.23 crore for two laning of Mughal Road connecting Shopian to Baffliaz (in Poonch District)including Mughal Road Tunnel in the State of Jammu & Kashmir is in progress and scheduled to be completed by Jan, 2020, he said.

“This state road is approved as “In-Principle” NH subject to outcome of DPR. The remaining five stretches viz. Kapran-Desa-Doda Tunnel; Pahalgam-Panikhar Road; Kulgam- Gulabgarh Road; Tral- Pahalgam Road and Shari-i-Shali-Tral Road are neither part of notified NHs nor “In-principle” NHs, hence out of the mandate to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,” he added.

Last year, an official statement issued here announced that the Centre has agreed in principle to accord National Highway status to Mughal Road after “a marathon meeting of officers with Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti jointly in chair.” However there was no mention that it was subjected to detailed project report.  

To a question whether the Government proposes to enhance the quota of J&K under the Central Road Fund, the minister said the Central Road Fund Act, 2000 stands amended as Central Road and Infrastructure Fund Act, 2000 with effect from First April, 2018 in confirmation to the Finance Act, 2018. 

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