National companies in Kashmir must ensure work to locals: Abdullah

Jammu, Jan 9: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday asked national companies executing various flagship programmes and mega projects in the state to ensure employment of locals both in skilled and non-skilled disciplines.

“You should absorb all the available human resource in the projects you are executing besides giving preference to the local traders, contractors, transporters and others to undertake works of different nature you are supposed to outsource in the process of execution of the projects,” he told the companies.

Inspecting the status of four-laning of Jammu-Srinagar national highway from Jammu city to Udhampur town of the Jammu region, Abdullah directed the state revenue department and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to work in close coordination for disbursement of compensation to the families whose land is being acquired for the road construction.

The chief minister was informed that 5.12 km Jammu by-pass, 11.70 km Nagrota by-pass and 18 to 19 km Udhampur by-pass have been completed so far.

In a presentation about the project’s salient features, NHAI officials said the four-laning of Jammu-Udhampur highway involves construction of 64 major and 61 minor two-lane bridges, 220 culverts and four twin tube tunnels.

The chief minister appreciated the NHAI’s work and laid stress on time-bound completion of the works.

Posting his impressions of the day’s visit, he tweeted: “Reviewed the progress along the Jammu Udhampur highway. Am very pleased with the pace and quality of work of AFCONS, the concessionaire.

“By the end of this year, the drive between Udhampur & Jammu is going to be amazing. And by 2017 Jammu Srinagar should take about 5 hours”.

At present, it takes an eight hour strenuous hilly journey to cover the over 300-km distance between summer capital Srinagar and winter capital Jammu.

IANS