SEEKING TO flag the “development agenda” of the central government in poll-bound Punjab, Union Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari Wednesday announced plans for a Rs 60,000 crore Amritsar-Delhi expressway that would reduce travel time between the two cities by over two hours.
The expressway, which will run up to Katra in Jammu, will cut the travel time from Amritsar to Delhi from seven hours to four-and-a half hours, Gadkari said. He said the foundation stone for the four-lane expressway will be laid in January 2017.
He spoke about the expressway at rallies in both Jalandhar and Ludhiana. “We have presented the project before the respective states and will soon start the process of land acquisition,” he said. Also, as part of the government’s planned push for an “economic corridor” for freight traffic, Gadkari announced plans for a four-lane road between Jalandhar and Ajmer, a feeder route to the Ajmer-Mumbai national highway.
Gadkari made these announcements in the presence of Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal and state BJP chief Vijay Sampla. He was on a one-day visit to Punjab for the foundation-laying ceremony of 12 road projects — three each in Rupnagar and Ludhiana and six in Jalandhar, worth Rs 10,290 crore.
In Ludhiana, he laid foundation stones for three projects worth Rs 3,212 crore, and in Jalandhar, for six projects worth 4,500 crore. In Rupnagar, the combined worth of the three projects was Rs 2,000 crore.