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Gadkari Approves over Rs 3900 cr for Highway Projects in J&K, Ladakh, Punjab



Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today approved works on significant National Highways and roads worth about Rs 3900 crore in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and the neighbouring State of Punjab, including the construction of Akhnoor-Poonch road on National Highway 144-A.

Gadkari announced the new works through a series of tweets.

“New works will give a major boost to road infrastructure in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh besides the State of Punjab,” the officials said.

The Highways Minister has approved a budget of Rs 441 crore for rehabilitation and up-gradation work to two-lane with a paved shoulder on Akhnoor-Poonch road on the National Highway 144-A.

The officials said the work had been approved under Project Sampark (Border Roads Organization) under Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) Mode.

They added that the Union Minister has also approved construction work of a 4/6-lane access-controlled Expressway from the junction with Pathankot-Gurdaspur road (National Highway-54) near Balsua to the intersection with Hiranagar road in Kathua district of Jammu near village Gurha Baildaran of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway.

The project has been approved on Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) mode under Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-II.

This will have the cost of Rs 3044.02 crore and will cover the State of Punjab and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the officials said.

In the Union Territory of Ladakh, Gadkari has approved construction work of three realignments including Drass, Kharboo and Kargil between Pandrass-Pashkyum on Zojila-Kargil-Leh road (National Highway-I) with two-lane.

The work has been approved under Project Vijayak (Border Roads Organization) on Engineering Procurement and Construction Mode.

The work has been sanctioned at the cost of Rs 426.14 crore, the officials said.

They said the three works approved at the cost of over Rs 3900 crore today would give a significant boost to developing highways and road infrastructure networks in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and the neighbouring State of Punjab, especially Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, which will sharply reduce travel time and distance between New Delhi and Jammu.

Delhi-Katra Expressway will pass through four States/UTs, including New Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, and will significantly benefit travellers. The project has got pace with the approval of funds from the Union Ministry for Roads and National Highways, which has regularly monitored the project.

As per the officials, work on Akhnoor-Poonch National Highway is also a significant project that will benefit the people a long way as it will also cut travel time and distance on Jammu-Poonch National Highway. Work on Jammu-Akhnoor road is already going on swiftly.

When completed, the officials said people in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch would be the primary beneficiaries of the new Highway.

The Union Territory of Ladakh has also been witnessing significant infrastructure development of roads and National Highways, including in the strategic areas.

“Many new roads are coming up in the strategic areas in Ladakh,” the officials said, adding the Central Government proposed to connect all border areas with roads to help speedy supplies to the Armed Forces.


BSF deploys more troops, surveillance equipment along border in J&K as part of ‘winter strategy’




The Border Security Force (BSF) has deployed additional troops along with anti-fog surveillance equipment on the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir as part of its “winter strategy” to foil infiltration bids and terror plans ahead of Republic Day celebrations, officials said on Friday.
BSF troops guarding the 200-km International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir have been put on alert to ensure a high degree of security against infiltrating terrorists.
“We have mobilised troops along the border. Extra troops have been deployed along with surveillance equipment along IB in view of the foggy weather and Republic Day celebrations,” a senior officer told.
He said that operations and night domination exercises have increased along the border which witnesses dense fog during winters.
Officials pointed to terrorists using fog as a cover to infiltrate and said the winter strategy that has been put in place includes the measures to deal with security setup during the foggy season.
Troops have plugged all the gaps in riverine areas of Ujh, Bansantar and Chenab, they said.
The steps to beef up the security along the IB have been taken in view of the Republic Day celebrations.
Police have also put up several checkpoints on roads leading to the border and increased checking, they said.
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LeT, Al-Badr Militants Planning To Sneak in JK Via PoK: Intel Agencies Warns





Amid the heavy snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, the intelligence agencies have warned that militants from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Al Badr are planning to sneak into the Union Territory through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), sources in the security set-up said.

The sources, quoting intelligence inputs, said that at least seven militants of LeT and five of Al Badra are trying to cross over to Jammu and Kashmir from two different areas located in PoK.

The intelligence alert has specifically said that from one place in PoK, the LeT ultras will be trying to infiltrate with the help of a launchpad commander, while the five Al Badr militants are located near a launchpad in Balakot, who are being escorted by a local guide to infiltrating from the Bhimber Gali side in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The intel alerts have been shared with the J&K Police, Central security forces and the Army who have been asked to intensify patrolling along the international border adjoining the Bhimber Gali.

“The alert is a matter of major concern for the security forces ahead of the Republic Day, and if they (militants) are trying to cross the international border amid the heavy snowfall, it indicates that they must be equipped with winter clothing and navigational devices,” an official in the security forces deployed in J&K said.

He also said that in recent operations launched by the Central security forces and the state police, the militants who were neutralised had army grade winter clothing and other staff like dry fruits and dry meals. This also indicates that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is providing logistic support to these terrorists.

Recent intelligence inputs have also revealed that ISI has been searching for new routes to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir besides establishing new control rooms in PoK.

The security forces, after intercepting messages, revealed that eight new routes have been identified which are covered with snow and have less patrolling by Indian forces during peak winters.

The intelligence intercepts have further revealed that Pakistan has activated new terror launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) with increased efforts to aid infiltration bids into Jammu and Kashmir before the Republic Day on January 26.

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Beware: Lady thief roaming the streets of Roop Nagar




Another theft case of ₹7,200 has been reported from a boutique named ” The Hanger’ located on the main road in Roop Nagar, Jammu.

A lady who visited the boutique duped the owner and took away garments amounting to a total of ₹7,200.

The owner at first didn’t recognise the lady, but she pretended as if she was their regular customer.

“After selecting the garments, she asked for an assistant boy to come along and will make the payment to him as she reaches her residence”, the owner said.

She instead fooled the owner and the boy as well and wasn’t seen anywhere after that.

The boutique owner has filed a complaint in the nearest police station on January 18.

Police are investigating the matter, and soon the lady thief would be caught; till then, the locals are advised to beware of such miscreants.

Aditi Tikku


Read More: Two feared dead after drowning in Chenab

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21 Jan 2022, 8:05 AM (GMT)

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January 2022