The landmark bridge at Keerian-Gandial will benefit over 2.2 lakh people living on both sides, linking the secluded areas of Kathua district with the state of Punjab.
The 1.2 km long inter-state bridge has been constructed at a cost of Rs 158.84 crore in a span of three and a half years, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said in a statement.
Kathua’s southern border is bound by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The bridge is expected to boost the social as well as economical development of the people. The bridge will also reduce traffic on the Jammu-Kathua-Pathankot National Highway. Easing out traffic on the national highway will help in decongesting the area, hence making it easy for commuters to travel from one place to another, through the highway.
While dedicating the bridge to the Nation, Gadkari said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government had set a new mark in timely delivery of public goods by completing various projects on or before time.
The Minister also gave full credit to Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh with whose efforts, he said the bridge was constructed. “I too was forced to take personnel interest in getting it sanctioned”, he added.
Giving details about the ongoing highways projects in Jammu & Kashmir, Gadkari said that the NH network in the state has seen an increase of 969 km in the last four years.
The total length of NHs in the state was 1695 km in 2014, which has gone up to 2664 km in 2018. The number of NHs has also gone up from seven to 14 in the same period. New NHs of 969 km were announced during the period. In addition, four state roads of 400 km have also been approved.
He said his ministry is executing 16 projects worth Rs 45,107 crore through NHAI, NHIDCL, State PWD and BRO under the Prime Minister's special development package (PMDP) for J&K. Of these, works worth Rs 30,000 crore have already started, the statement said adding, NHAI is executing eight projects worth Rs 14,987 crore, NHIDCL/BRO - six projects costing Rs 24,120 crore, and PWD - two projects for Rs 6,000 crore.