Construction of a road connecting Kathua district here to National Highway 44 was resumed in Jammu and Kashmir after a two months hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rajana Gupta, Executive Engineer of the Public Works Department (Roads and Borders) Division informed .
Gupta said the resumption of the construction project, with an estimated cost of Rs 2.50 crore, was “good news” not only for residents of the village but also for the labourers who were employed in the project.
“This four-kilometre road construction was halted for over two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was estimated to cost around Rs 2.50 crore under the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and the Panchayat leaders along with the villagers were glad to have some relief from the road’s poor condition,” he added.
He further said that the ongoing development work in the rural areas of the Union Territory had opened a door of wide-spread development, and at the same time created several job opportunities for stranded migrants.
“The blacktopping of the road is happening at a good speed and the government is pouring in all efforts to speed up the PWD work in Jammu and Kashmir, while also combatting COVID-19,” he added.
According to the village sarpanch, Mohan Singh, the construction of the road was highly anticipated by the villagers.
“The construction of this road started two years ago, the villagers used to ask me about it every day. Since the resumption of the construction, the people have been excited to see the new road. The labourers are working hard, and follow social distancing guidelines prescribed by the government. The villagers are pleased with the panchayat as well as the Kathua village administration,” Singh said.
According to Sukhavati, a labourer from Madhya Pradesh, the construction project enabled her to get back on her feet after a long spell of joblessness.
“I came to Jammu from Madhya Pradesh before the lockdown and got stranded here with no means of income. It was a difficult time. Although the government is the one who had imposed the lockdown, I am glad that I can now get back to work and send some money back home to my kids,” Sukhavati told.