The Union transport ministry, led by Nitin Gadkari, has given its approval for construction and highway widening projects worth Rs 12,142 crore in Jammu and Kashmir. As part of the projects, the National Highway (NH) between Khanabal and Panchtarni, a 110 km stretch, will be widened at a cost of Rs 5,300 crore, significantly reducing travel time for pilgrims commuting to the Amarnath shrine from Srinagar. The Mughal Road, a 60-km stretch connecting Poonch in Jammu with Shopian in Kashmir, will also be developed at a cost of Rs 6,842 crore.
Gadkari also announced several other initiatives during his recent visit to Jammu & Kashmir, including the construction of a 5-km concrete footpath from Panchtarni to Amarnath shrine with barricades on both sides for security purposes, a 10 km tunnel between Seshnag and Panchtarani to avoid any risk of snowfall, and a new 9-km ropeway from Baltal to Amarnath at a cost of Rs 750 crore. Additionally, a Rs 125 crore ropeway project will connect Pahalgam with Baisaran to promote tourism.
Furthermore, the government has awarded the Rs 175 crore project for a 2-km ropeway to the pilgrim site at Shivkhedi in Jammu, and another project to provide ropeway connectivity to Shankaracharya temple in Srinagar at a cost of Rs 60 crore will be bid out in the next two months. These projects will significantly improve transportation and connectivity in the region, boosting tourism and economic growth.