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J&K’s tunnel projects scale new heights, to boost its economy, tourism

J&K's road infrastructure getting facelift (Image courtesy: PIB)

There is good news for residents of Jammu and Kashmir. The construction of a 250- meter viaduct (2-lane) in conjunction with a 395- meter (2-lane) Maroge Tunnel, costing about Rs 82 crore has been completed, a move that is expected to boost the economy of the state. This will also enhance the inflow of tourists as it will ease movement of vehicles.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in a post said that this infrastructure is situated along the Ramban to Banihal section of NH-44. This 645-meter segment, as part of the larger project, will not only shorten the travel distance by 200 meters, reducing steep gradients, but also provide an alternative route bypassing the well –known Sita Ram Passi slide area. Furthermore, it facilitates the smooth flow of vehicles, bypassing the challenging Margo Area gradients, Gadkari added.

Earlier, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that more than 1.27 crore tourists have already visited the valley state so far this year. “The figure is much higher than last year. We hope to see record breaking tourist arrivals by the year end,” Sinha said.

In 2022, J&K recorded 1.88 crore tourist arrivals — the highest number in the last three decades.

Since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, the state has emerged as a noticeable narrative on bringing civility to the land that was once scarred and wounded by terrorism. “The biggest stakeholders of this new and aspiring Jammu Kashmir are the youth,” Kashmir Observer said in an article.

J&K has overcome decades of a chasm in development. People that were marginsalised — Dalits, refugees, Gurkhas, sanitation workers, and adivasis have been given the same rights as any other ordinary citizen, the news organization said.

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