'State-of-the-art project' Chenani-Nashri tunnel will increase tourism: Gadkari

This, she added, would not only bring an end to the miseries of the people here but also strengthen their faith in the country's democratic discourse thereby helping them in rejecting the path of violence and acrimony. He said the youth of Kashmir Valley had to choose between tourism and terrorism to shape their futures. "On one side, some misguided youth in Kashmir are throwing stones".

"Over last 40 years, there has been lot of bloodshed. This bloodshed has not done good to anybody but has only snatched sons from their mothers", he said.

"We do not harbour any animosity towards the Indian Prime Minister, but it is frightening and painful that instead of taking notice of the genocide in the state, he is awarding and rewarding the assassins".

The tunnel is a part of the 286-km-long four-laning of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

Jain said that now travel between Jammu and Srinagar takes at least nine hours, and many times, traffic gets halted for days due to landslides and avalanches. Singh said the new route will save fuel worth almost Rs 99 crore annually and Rs 27 lakh per day and also serve as an alternative to the highway that is often affected by rain and snow.

"I want to assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the Prime Minister's focus and vision is to make India a vibrant and a strong country", he said, adding, "The Prime Minister wants to build best infrastructure in the country which will be no less than any other country". "The money for this tunnel came from the government of India". Besides Srinagar, south and north Kashmir also wore a deserted look.

The tunnel, bypassing snow-bound upper reaches, will provide a safe, all- weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.

"It's a message India has given to the world struggling with global warming", he said.

He said a ring road will be built around Jammu at a cost of Rs 2100 crores and another one around Srinagar at a cost of Rs 2200 crores. "If tourism would have been made the focus in the last 40 years, Kashmir would be the hub of tourists", Modi, whose party rules the disputed state in an alliance, said.

"The Prime Minister had announced a package of Rs 24,160 crore for Jammu and Kashmir, out of which, I am happy to announce, projects worth Rs 4,463 crore have been implemented", he said. "But her government has done a commendable job", he said. Modi promised to stand shoulderto- shoulder in the development of Jammu and Kashmir and sought the cooperation of the people in this regard.

  • Leroy Wright