Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who visited the state recently, recognises the need to constantly debate issues like removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that is currently splitting political opinion, sources said, but believes that the central and state governments can do a lot more to integrate the local population by delivering on specific projects.
Rahul has spoken with Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi and Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi to have the two projects looked into urgently. He is believed to have expressed concern that these “basic issues” of connectivity were not addressed in so many years.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is learnt to have made a strong pitch to the government for two specific infrastructure projects in Jammu & Kashmir — a state of the art all-weather tunnel across the Zoji La pass on National Highway 1, and an extension of the runway in Kargil to enable commercial operations.
The Zoji La pass is snowed out for much of the year. Feasibility studies carried out in the past have not yielded results on the ground. Rahul has pushed for the best modern technology for the project, and Joshi is said to be planning a visit to the state.
The Kargil runway is 6,000 feet long and is used only by the Air Force. Rahul has suggested increasing the length to 7,500 feet and have small aircraft begin commercial operations. He has asked the civil aviation ministry to liaise proactively with the state government on the project, sources said.
Source: Indian Express