The completion of the Mughal Road, which connects the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in the Jammu region with the Kashmir Valley has been delayed. The Rs.640 crore project is now five years behind schedule.
The new deadline has been set for May. Work on the project was started in October 2005 and was to be completed by June 2008.
Minister for Roads and Bridges Abdul Majid Wani set the new deadline after voicing his serious concern over the delay in the execution of the project at a meeting here Thursday.
The Mughal Road was used by Emperor Jehangir to travel to Kashmir. His caravan used to start from Sialkote, now in Pakistan, crossing beautiful valleys enroute the rivulets.
Reviewing pace of progress on the prestigious project, Wani asked the executing agencies to stick to the targeted time frame for completion as a delay will result in escalation of costs besides loading un-seen additional burden on the state exchequer.
"The concerned engineers and executing agencies working on the Mughal Road project should complete all the seven major bridges by the end of May this year so that the cherished dream of fully re-opening of this historic road project comes true," said Wani, adding that Rs. 55.75 crore has already been earmarked for bridge construction.
The minister also directed the engineers to prepare a comprehensive project report for construction of a seven km long underground tunnel across Pir-Ki-Gali in between Zaznar to Chata Pani road stretch, which is the heaviest snow belt in the road.
The stretch could be made an alternate for Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only road link with rest of the country.