New Delhi: One can reach Amritsar from Delhi in four hours and Katra from Delhi in six hours once the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway becomes operational, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday as he inspected the project in Amritsar.
This 669-kilometre Delhi-Amritsar-Katra greenfield expressway is being built at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore, said the minister for road transport and highways.
Once completed, one can reach Amritsar from Delhi in four hours and Katra from Delhi in six hours, he said.
At present, the distance from Delhi to Katra is 727 km. With the construction of the new route, the distance will be reduced by 58 km, Gadkari said.
Over 137 kilometres of the expressway falls in Haryana, while the its length in Punjab is 399 km, of which work has already started on 296 kms, Gadkari said.
The length of the expressway in Jammu and Kashmir is 135 km, of which work is in progress on 120 kilometres, he said.
In Punjab, the expressway will pass through industrial areas like Patiala, Sangrur, Malerkotla, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Gurdaspur.
A special feature of this corridor includes the Asia's longest 1,300-meter cable-stayed bridge over the Beas river, the minister said.
The expressway will connect major religious places like the Golden Temple, Sultanpur Lodhi Gurdwara in Kapurthala district, Goindwal Sahib Gurdwara, Khandur Sahib Gurdwara, Gurdwara Darbar Sahib (Tarn Taran) as well as the popular Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu.
While reviewing the progress of a 50-km four-lane bypass road in Amritsar, he said the bypass which is being built at a cost of Rs 1,475 crore, will provide better connectivity from Tarn Taran to the Amritsar airport.
This bypass will be able to solve traffic problem in Amritsar and improve transportation, said the minister.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who was also present on this occasion, said that the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway will be a harbinger of a new era of unprecedented development and prosperity in the state.
The state Government has already extended all its support to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the completion of the project, he said, adding that this project will give a major fillip to the economic activity in the region, besides opening new vistas of employment for the youth.
Mann expressed hope that the project will give much-needed boost to the trade and commerce in the state.
He said with the intervention of the Union minister the work on this project will be further expedited.
Mann further said his government is committed towards the holistic development of the state, for which more such projects will be brought in.