The first of its kind Katra-Delhi Express Road Corridor will be ready in three years at a cost of over Rs 35,000 crore, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said Tuesday.
Singh who earlier had a meeting with the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on the matter, said that the 575 km long corridor will connect Katra to Delhi via Amritsar, en route cities including Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana in Punjab, and Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir. It will also reduce travel time by road between Katra-Delhi to around six and a half hours and Jammu-Delhi to about six hours.
Katra town, which acts as a base camp for pilgrimage to the Vaishnodevi shrine in Trikuta Hills, falls in the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency represented by Singh.
Singh said that following the completion of survey by M/s Feedback Consultants Ltd., the process for acquisition of land is nearly complete in Haryana part of the corridor. Now, the land acquisition process will be taken up in Punjab and thereafter in the Jammu and Kashmir segment, he added.
In this context, the union minister said that while the formal approval of the proposal had already been obtained from the Jammu and Kashmir government, it has now been obtained from Punjab government.
The unique feature of the corridor is that it will connect two holy cities of Katra and Amritsar and at the same time offer connectivity to some of the important religious shrines between the two destinations.
Once it becomes functional, likely by 2023, the people will prefer to travel between Jammu-Delhi by road instead of undertaking the journey by rail or by air, he said.
It will also promote industry and economy in the entire region, besides paving the way for growth of economic hubs in cities like Kathua, Jammu, as well as Jalandhar and Ludhiana, he added, expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nitin Gadkari for Central funding to build new roads and bridges in Udhampur-Kathua-Doda parliamentary constituency.
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