Decks have been cleared for the four-laning of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only road link between Kashmir Valley and the rest of India, with the state government facilitating the land acquisition for the purpose, officials said on Sunday.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has been informed about the land acquisition in the areas along the highway where there are plans of widening the road or construction of bridges or tunnels, a source said.
The task had been pending for the past six years.
"It was the intervention at the highest level that made the revenue authorities work hard and acquire land for four-laning of the highway," a senior official told IANS.
"The decks have been cleared. Now, it's the work of the men and machines to do rest," he added.
The 294-km highway is a nightmare for travellers as it is prone to landslides and frequent blockades during winter and rainy seasons.
Though it's double-laned, it becomes single-laned at many points, obstructing the free flow of traffic, which in turn disrupts supplies to the valley, where almost everything, from foodgrains, poultry to cars and trucks, are supplied from other states.
"Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been personally monitoring the progress in the four-laning of the highway, and has asked the NHAI to expedite the work," the official said.
Abdullah has also asked the NHAI to set a "time frame" for the completion of work, he said.