By Ali Faiz , Delhi : Senior Congress Leader J&K and MLA Inderwal, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori today called upon Union Road Transport & Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes, to discuss important issues regarding development of Jammu and Kashmir.
Strongly advocating for construction of proposed two tubes of 5-Km each long Chatroo-Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel connecting Kishtwar with Kashmir valley, Saroori informed Union Minister that it will also help to provide a nearest all weather alternate highway between Jammu to Srinagar besides shortening the distance for Shri Amarnath Ji Yatris’.
Saroori informed that Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh has sanctioned 10no tunnels in the country which include Chatroo-Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel and which finds mention in the President address in the parliament 2012 address.
He informed about the importance of proposed Singhpur-Vailo Tunnel which will shortest alternate By Pass to NH1A from Batote to Srinagar and also facilitate smooth passage of Amarnath Yatra which will be without sliding sinking zone and the same will remain open trough out the year. It will also give impetus to tourism industry of the state as it will be vital link in Tourism Circuit comprising of Lakhanpur, Bani, Basoli, Chatergala, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Chatroo and Kashmir Valley thereby bringing socio- economic prosperity in the entire region.
He said that the construction of this tunnel will not only provide alternative road connectivity to valley, but will also give job opportunities to the local unemployed youths of the Kishtwar District.
Saroori said that under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan, Rs.640 crore has already been earmarked for the road that passes through Sinthan.
Saroori also pressed for release of Rupees 324 crores for Kishtwar- Sinthan road so that 1100 labour on Chatroo- Sinthan road will be engaged to expedite the construction work so that project will be completed on time bound period besides stressed for early completion of Batote-Kishtwar road for which Rupees 342 crores have already been released, he demanded speed up and early completion of construction work from Batote to Sinthan.
Fernendes gave patient hearing and said Congress’s commitment for economic development of Jammu and Kashmir, and said that the Singhpora- Vailoo project is in advance stage. He said that the within six months of time Border Road Organisation (BRO) will receive funds for preparation of final DPR of the said tunnel as the pre-feasibility report has already been received by Ministry of Surface transport and Defense Ministry through BRO.
He said he has himself written a letter to defense ministry government of India for providing funds for preparing final DPR. He said that as soon as the BRO organization will receive funds for preparation of DPR, the organization will invite the tenders for the same from reputed companies. He said that he is hopeful that all the formalities will be cleared by the end December 2013.
About Singhpora- Vailoo tunnel
Singhpora-Viloo tunnel is among the 10 tunnels to be constructed in the Country on the initiative of GOI which includes construction of 12-km Srinagar-Kargil-Leh tunnel and 21-km Balipara-Charduar Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
The tunnel also provides short road connectivity between Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir Valley through Pangi-Padder-Sinthan-Srinagar route.
Pertinently in 2003, MLA Inderwal Ghulam Muhammad Saroori first time raised the issue regarding the construction of Chatroo Singhpora tunnel and Sinthan road in the Assembly. During his tenure as Roads & Buildings Minister, Saroori expedited the paper work and got completed 23-km road stretch from Chatroo to Singhpora, also from Vailoo side in 2010.
Besides former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad played an important role of giving final shape to the ambitions project.
However, when the project was stopped on June 13th 2008 when militants killed five GREF personnel, including a Lieutenant Colonel Ajay Verma.