Delhi-Katra Expressway: ‘First-of-its-kind road corridor’ to cut travel time between Delhi and Vaishno Devi
The government has decided to improve connectivity to the Vaishno Devi shrine, an important religious site in the Katra town of Jammu and Kashmir which is visited by lakhs of pilgrims every year, via road from Delhi.
The Delhi-Katra expressway project has commenced connecting the two places, as announced by Union minister of state for personnel public grievances and pensions Jitendra Singh. He had announced the project on August 12 this year.
Here is all you need to know about the Delhi-Katra Expressway:
• In the announcement, the expressway was described as a “first-of-its-kind road corridor” and that the project upon completion would reduce the travel time between Delhi and Katra to six-and-a-half hours. Also, the travel time between Jammu and Delhi would be reduced to six hours, thus making it the preferred choice of travel via road for people, over train and air routes.
• Katra and Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir and Amritsar, Ludhiana, Kapurthala and Jalandhar in Punjab are some of the important cities that would be covered by the corridor.
• The project is estimated to complete by 2023, a timeline of three years from now, and at a projected cost of ₹35,000 crore.
• “The hallmark of this road corridor is that it will connect the holy cities of Katra and Amritsar, and at the same time offer connectivity for some other major important religious shrines between the two destinations,” Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.
• Approval for the corridor came along with the plans for multiple other projects that the government has kicked-off. Widening of the national highway between Jammu and Pathankot, which will be upgraded to a six-way lane from a four-way lane, is currently underway to ease the route for travellers between Jammu, Katra and Pathankot.
• Initial plans for the project were proposed nearly three years ago in 2018, by Singh, who represents Udhampur in the Lok Sabha.
• Hailed as a “path-breaking revolution in promoting industry and investments in the entire region,” Singh has said that the project will catalyse the boom of multiple economic hubs in cities like Katra and Jammu.