New Delhi: The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Katra in Jammu and Kashmir will soon be connected to Delhi via Amritsar through an Expressway which will not only make the road journey much more comfortable but also considerably reduce the travel time between these important towns. He made this announcement while addressing a huge public congregation in Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, today.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that work on the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway will begin very soon and this will be the India’s longest Expressway passing through Haryana, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir covering a distance of 600 kms and costing more than Rs.15,000 crores. One of the major benefits from it would be that travel time from Katra to Delhi which presently takes around 11 to 12 hours will come down by at least 5 to 6 hours, he said. Once this Expressway becomes functional, he said, it will give Katra the distinction of being among those few destinations in India which will get connected through the highest class of roadways in the country. He thanked Union Road Transport & Highways Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari for his support to this project.
On the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh also gifted free textbooks, school uniforms and school bags to over 500 local school children and offered Insurance cover to all of them from his personal resources.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Jitendra Singh recalled that soon after the Shri Narendra Modi government was sworn in on May 26, 2014, one of the first important programmes attended by the Prime Minister was the inauguration of the historic Railway Station of Katra Vaishno Devi. This not only indicates the high importance that the present government and Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi personally attach to the development of Katra as a centre of religious tourism, but also as a matter of faith. He recalled that the moment Prime Minister Shri Modi’s chopper had landed at Katra for the inauguration of Railway Station, the first thing observed by him was the potential of this place to be developed as an important solar station.
As the then Union Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh also referred to hi-tech Weather Forecasting system which he had got installed at Sanjhi Chhat at Vaishno Devi last year.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the recent extension of the Chennai-New Delhi Andaman Express train up to Katra has only testified the grand connectivity plans that the Government of India envisages for this holy town. Very soon, more DMU trains will also be introduced between Katra and Jammu, he added.
Responding to people’s complaint about inadequate maintenance of the roads within the Katra town, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, since the matter pertains to State government, he will take it up with the concerned authorities and impress upon them the importance of constant superior maintenance of these roads considering the fact that Katra is not only a national destination, but it is one of the most important international destinations in India visited by pilgrims from all over the world.