The widening work of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway which commenced in 2011 and was expected to be completed within five years is likely to get completed in next three years.
The National Highways Authority of India has set a 2025 deadline to complete the four laning of the all weather highway, which connects Kashmir with rest of the country, and people are hoping that the new deadline set by NHAI will be met.
During the past 11-years many corridors of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway have been widened. This has reduced the travel time by many hours between Srinagar and Jammu.
At present the NHAI is working on the most treacherous stretch between Banihal and Ramban as this corridor on the highway is prone to landslides and leads to its frequent closure whenever the weather turns inclement.
During the past few years the condition of the highway has improved as the new four-lane corridors and tunnels connecting Banihal with Qazigund and Nashri with Samroli have brought the Jammu and Srinagar cities closer.
Once the work on the last stretch between Ramban and Banihal is completed, distance between the twin capitals of J&K would be reduced further.
The Union Ministry for Road Transport and Highways is monitoring the ongoing work keenly and is taking regular updates from the construction agencies managing the project. Once the four laning of the highway is completed there is every possibility that this all weather road would remain open all throughout the year as the areas that are prone to landslides will be bye-passed.
Besides Jammu-Srinagar National Highway becoming fourlane, the work is going on at full swing to connect Kashmir with the rest of the country through railways. The last phase of the railway network that would connect Banihal with Katra is nearing completion and by 2023, Kashmir is likely to be connected with Jammu through a railway network.
The NHAI and the other agencies engaged in the expansion work of the highway are trying their best to finish the work and people of Kashmir are waiting eagerly for Jammu-Srinagar National Highway to become four lane as it would end the connectivity woes once for all.