Jammu-Poonch highway upgradation
- November 6, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Jammu-Poonch highway upgradation
Section: Places in news
More about the news:
- The Border Roads Organisation last month achieved a breakthrough in a vital tunnel along the 250-km long and strategically important National Highway 144A in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The tunnel forms part of the Rs 5,100-crore NH upgradation project under the Rs 80,068-crore Prime Minister’s Development Package announced in November 2015 as Reconstruction Plan for Jammu and Kashmir
What is NH 144A and when did it come into existence:
- It is a double-lane road which starts from Jammu and goes up to Rajouri and Poonch districts.
- It provides road connectivity to Akhnoor sub division and part of Reasi district.
- The double-lane road was given the status of national highway and named NH 144A by the central government in 2015
What is the significance of its upgradation:
- The National Highway 144A is undergoing an upgrade from two lanes to four lanes, with the aim of providing improved, rapid, and all-weather road connectivity to residents in the border districts of Rajouri, Poonch, and parts of Jammu and Reasi districts.
- This project is expected to boost socio-economic development in these areas and reduce travel time between Poonch-Rajouri and Jammu from 6-7 hours to 4.5 hours.
- Additionally, this strategically vital highway will facilitate the swift movement of defense vehicles along the Line of Control, enhancing connectivity during both peace and wartime.
- The need for this upgrade stemmed from the increased traffic and frequent accidents, as well as the long-standing demand from the local population for road widening.
Who is executing this project
- The four-laning project of the highway from Jammu to Akhnoor is managed by the National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), while the section from Akhnoor to Poonch is under the responsibility of the Border Roads Organisation as part of Project Sampark.
- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has set a target of March 2025 for completing the four-laning of the highway between Jammu and Akhnoor, including the construction of a 4.6-kilometer flyover from Jammu city’s Canal Head to Muthi.
- Despite this timeline, most of the work on this stretch has already been finished, and the flyover is open for vehicular traffic.
What about the Akhnoor to Poonch stretch:
- The road-widening project from Akhnoor to Poonch is managed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under Project Sampark. The challenging terrain of the Pir Panjal mountainous region will include four tunnels to reduce the road length by 32 kilometers and travel time to 4.5 hours.
- The project is divided into eight packages:
- Package 1: Stretch from Akhnoor to Chowki Choura, including the 260-meter Kandi tunnel.
- Package 2: From Chowki Choura to Bhamla with a 2.78 km tunnel through Sungal village, expected to be completed by August 2024.
- Package 3: Stretch from Bhamla to Bakhar with a 4-kilometer bypass.
- Package 4: From Bakhar to Nowshera, passing through Thandapani, Siot, and Lamberi.
- Package 5: From Nowshera to Kallar, including the construction of a new bridge and a 0.700 km tunnel bypassing the existing Tain bridge.
- Package 6: From Kallar to Dhari Dhara near Manjakote, including a 2.7 km bypass.
- Package 7: From Dhari Dhara to Bhatadhurian, with a 15-kilometer new road and a 1.1-kilometer tunnel at Bhatadhurian.
- Package 8: Stretch from Bhatadurian to Poonch Police Lines via various locations.
- While most of the road stretch from Akhnoor to Rajouri has been completed, the road-widening work in Poonch district has not yet commenced
Some facts about the Border Roads Organisation (BRO)
- It was formed in 1960 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for coordinating the speedy development of an adequate road communication network of roads in the North and the North-Eastern border regions of the country.
- It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence.
- The Motto of BRO is “Shramena Sarvam Sadhyam” (everything is achievable through hard work).
- It is staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Military Police and army personnel on extra regimental employment.
- Engineering Service and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) form the parent cadre of the Border Roads Organisation.
- The BRO also undertakes projects in India and friendly countries.
- In order to ensure coordination and expeditious execution of projects, the Government of India set up the Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) with the Prime Minister as Chairman of the Board and Defence Minister as Deputy Chairman.