STATE TIMES NEWSNew Delhi: The work has started on the Katra-Delhi Express road corridor and once completed it will reduce the travel time between the two destinations to around six and half hours, Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday.He said the project will be completed by 2023, and when it is operational people will prefer to travel from Katra, the town that houses the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, to the national capital by road rather than by train or air.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, said Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel.The work has started on the first-of-its- kind Katra-Delhi express road corridor which will be ready by 2023 and when it becomes functional, the travel time from Katra to Delhi will get reduced to around six and half hours, and from Jammu to Delhi to just about six hours, the minister said.Singh said that after completion of the survey by M/s Feedback Consultants Ltd, the process of acquisition of land is nearly complete and the work on the ground has started, according to a statement issued by the Personnel Ministry. The project is estimated to cost over Rs 35,000 crore, he said, adding the important cities through which this corridor will pass include Jammu and Kathua in J&K, and Jalandhar, Amritsar, Kapurthala and Ludhiana in Punjab.Singh said, simultaneous widening of the National Highway between Pathankot and Jammu is also being undertaken, to upgrade it from 4-lane to 6-lane.It will also prove to be a great boon for the commuters between Jammu, Kathua and Pathankot, he said.Scheduled to be completed within a timeline of three years, he said, the road corridor will prove to be a path-breaking revolution in promoting industry and investments in the entire region.It will also pave the way for the growth of economic hubs in cities like Kathua and Jammu, Singh added.
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