The 58-km long ring road in Jammu and Kashmir is expected to be completed by December 2021. (Representative image)
A 58-km ring road, bypassing the Union Territory’s winter capital of Jammu on the National Highway No. 44, will be completed and inaugurated by December 2021 as around 40 percent of the 6-phase communication project has been already completed and its first phase was thrown open for traffic on Friday, 21 August, by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Phase-1 of Jammu Ring Road was scheduled to be finished by March 2020 but it was delayed by five months due to disruption by the coronavirus pandemic.
National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials assured the LG that the entire 58.255 km length of the project would be completed at an estimated budget of Rs 2,024 crore by the end of next year. It was for the first time in the year 2012 that the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had announced construction of two major ring roads around the winter capital of Jammu and the summer capital of Srinagar. Allotment of the Jammu Ring Road took place in 2017 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid its foundation stone in 2018.
The Jammu Ring Road is a prestigious national project under Bharat Mala Pariyojna (scheme) of the Government of India aimed at decongesting Jammu. In 2018, NHAI awarded this project on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis to M/s Gayatri-KMB Joint Venture. At the inauguration of the Phase-1, in the presence of Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sinha expressed satisfaction over the inauguration and termed roads as vital for any society to progress. He urged the executing agencies for early completion of the entire project and assured incentives to the executing agencies and officers for completing projects within stipulated time period.
The LG hoped that the newly inaugurated road would help reduce pollution, decongest Jammu city and catalyse economic and industrial growth across the region. He also reiterated the government’s resolve for providing basic amenities across the length and breadth of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. Passing through 60 villages—54 in Jammu and six in Samba district—the ring road will take off at Raya Morh in Samba and link to Jammu-Srinagar highway (NH-44) at Nagrota.
With no traffic jams and bottlenecks, it will provide a smooth drive through Patti, Bari Brahmana, Murallian, Miran Saheb, Lalyal, Alora, Sohanjana, Gho Manhasan, Karloop, Kangrail, Bhalwal, Kot, Kheri and Jagti. The 8-Km long first phase, which was inaugurated on Friday, starts from its Junction with NH-144 (Akhnoor Road) where the Jammu Ring Road intersects through a flyover connecting to Akhnoor road and crosses the Ranbir Canal over steel girder bridge. This Phase ends in Bhalwal area, 2 Km ahead of the Kot Bhalwal Road up to the viaduct.
Two 4-lane tunnels and viaducts are under construction as part of Phase-V of the project, which will connect this road to Jagti. The civil construction cost of the project is Rs 1,339 crore. Due to procedural delays and non-availability of funds, the total cost of the project has nearly doubled from estimated 1,100 crore in 2013 to Rs 2,024 crore. It will be 60 metre wide in planes and 45 metre in the hilly terrain.
The four-lane ring road will have eight major bridges, 101 minor bridges and 308 culverts, two fly-overs, five motor underpasses and eight pedestrian underpasses. It will be crossing Nikki Tawi River and Wadi Tawi River and around 42 seasonal streams and nallahs. The project also proposed to have two toll plazas at Bishnah and Kangar.
Nearly 3,300 families are affected which are getting due compensation and rehabilitation. Sinha chose to inaugurate Phase-I of Jammu Ring Road on the second day of his first visit to Jammu.
On Thursday, his first visit was to Reasi district where he interacted with several public delegations and met with the officials. He was reportedly upset with the slow pace of different works as he directed completion of all projects and schemes on time. He also paid obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine temple.