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kashmir: PM Modi fixes fresh deadlines for 6 infra projects in metros and Jammu & Kashmir


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fixed fresh deadlines for six major infrastructure projects in major metros including Delhi and Mumbai as well as the Union Territory of J&K that he reviewed last week, ranging between mid-2021 and 2025.

The biggest of the projects is the 272-km long Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla railway line in J&K worth Rs 28,000 crore which will join the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country. The PM directed the railways ministry to speed up execution of the project and complete it by July 31, 2022, according to the minutes of the meeting, a copy of which was seen by ET.

J&K has been directed to acquire and hand over all balance land for the project expeditiously and resolve the issue of sand and aggregate mining by January 15. This is the biggest rail project being constructed in mountainous terrain since Independence and the alignment involves construction of a large number of tunnels and bridges in the highly rugged and complex Himalayan geology.

The PM fixed a January 31, 2023, deadline for the completion of the Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway of 355 km and asked the Gujarat and Maharashtra governments to hand over all balance land for the project by March 31 this year. The environment minister was also told to expeditiously process the proposal of forest clearance for the project.

In the December 30 meeting , the PM also fixed a June 30, 2021, deadline for the road transport and highways ministry to complete the phase-1 and phase-2 and April 30, 2022, and September 30, 2022, deadlines for completing phase-3 and phase-4 respectively of the Dwarka Expressway in Delhi.

The PM also reviewed the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project and phase-2 of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). He asked the housing and urban affairs ministry to work in coordination with the Gujarat government to speed up execution and complete phase-1 (40 km) of the Ahmedabad Metro by July 31 next year and phase-2 (28 km) by March 31, 2024.

Gujarat was told to hand over the balance land by March 31 this year and resolve the issue of foreign funding quickly. Railways and Maharashtra government were asked to complete the phase-2 of the MUTP by December 31, 2022, and hand over all the land by March 31 this year.

A key project reviewed ahead of the West Bengal assembly election was the 18-km Naopara-Barasat Metro project in Kolkata. “As all the issues in phase-1 and phase-2 have been resolved, Ministry of Railways should speed up execution to complete phase-1 by March 31, 2022 and phase-2 by December 31, 2025. Railways ministry and West Bengal government could explore the possibility of underground metro-rail corridor for phase-3 of project,” said the minutes.

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