Importance of roads
In today’s development oriented world the importance of roads and highways assumes a huge significance. Roads not only act as nerves and make economies robust they also help in intercultural exchange and bridging gaps among communities.
However, Jammu and Kashmir proved one such region which had witnessed least development on infrastructure which includes increase in the road length. The region being a hilly one and prone to snowfall and vagaries of weather has witnessed least investment on roads during the past several decades now.
The situation is as such that many areas in the remote belts have been inaccessible by roads which has not only hampered development of these regions but has caused immense hardships to the people living there.
Though the people living in such zones have been demanding road connectivity to their habitations but so far the demands have not been met and those in power had decided to ignore these important pleas.
Now since the past two years or so the situation has seen some improvement after the announcement by the administration that all villages in Jammu and Kashmir will be connected by roads in one year which has meant that the dream that the people longed to have fulfilled will become a reality. This ambitious project is likely to see completion in 2022.
The Public Works (R&B) Department has been tasked to speed up execution of works under Capex, CSS and PMGSY to make road to every village in JK a reality.
The government is laying emphasis on enhancing connectivity in the border villages including for border guarding forces and directed that all the border posts in Jammu and Kashmir should be connected with the roads during the next year.
The government has as of now set a target of completing 1750 KM road length under PMGSY III and this target is to be achieved during the current fiscal.
The Public Works department that has been tasked to complete the works has already incurred an expenditure of 95 % and 80 % against the releases made under Central Road Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) and PMGSY respectively meaning that the authorities are also putting in their bit to complete the pending projects and targets.
Development of road network has seen an upswing over the past two years as against the target of 8000 roads, 5629 roads have been black topped while 2011 roads have been metalled or shingled during the current fiscal.
Out of 819 projects sanctioned under NABARD, while 131 works were completed during the last year, 31 projects have been completed till date during the current fiscal year.
These targets have been completed despite weather causing hindrance in the execution of works in some areas. Though some hiccups remain in place but the works department also needs to devise a mechanism where in technical vetting of the projects can be done in advance at the time of submission of projects to NABARD and administrative approval/technical sanction can follow later immediately after the projects are sanctioned.