Transport and Communication
In the landlocked state like Jammu and Kashmir, road transport is an
indispensable means of communication for the regular distribution of essential
and other commodities. Hence, the government has given the highest priority to
the construction and maintenance of roads.
The railway line between Jammu and
Udhampur, started in 1981-82, was completed
by 1997-98. Rs.142 crores, with an addition of another Rs.50 crores have been
spent on completing it. This railway line has been further extended up to
Srinagar at an additional cost of Rs.1,900 crores.
Economic development of the state and access to the landlocked and unexposed
areas are dependent on roads. The total road length was 13,540 Kms by March
1996. Of the 6,268 villages in the state, 3,962 villages were connected through
roads by 1995. By the Eighth plan, 228 additional villages are likely to be
connected through the roads.
An alternative to the existing national highway connecting Jammu and
known as the Mughal road was completed by Ninth plan period. The Ministry of
Surface Transport has sanctioned Rs.25 lakhs under the National Patrolling
scheme for the purpose of an ambulance and crane for deployment on the highway.
In the Kashmir valley, timber bridges constructed decades ago are being replaced
and reconstructed by concrete bridges. The major bridges completed in 1995 were
Abdullah Bridge, Aishmuquam, Larkipora in Kashmir valley and Kathua Bridge in
Jammu division. Other bridges under construction are Pul-Doda Bridge in Doda,
Sher-i-Kashmir Bridge, Poonch fly-over project, Jammu, Wagoora, Vailoo, Hillar,
Pahoo and Biddar Bridges in the valley and Kali Dhar Bridge in Rajouri district.
Communication facilities have considerably expanded with the opening of new
telephone exchanges, extension of existing lines and the establishment of
direct-dialing services between Srinagar and Jammu, Srinagar and Delhi and
between Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla. This service has been extended upto
Mumbai and other important towns in the country.
A new radio transmitter of much greater power has since been installed in Jammu,
and the Srinagar station has been further strengthened. A radio station has since
been set up in Leh. The TV station in Srinagar, catering to a population of 20
lakhs, has become very popular. Similar is the case with the Jammu TV station.
A yard-com-workshop complex at Srinagar has been constructed
involving a cost of Rupees 4.70 crores.