The central and the UT governments focusing on improving the road connectivity within J&K is an encouraging and appreciable move as such projects are bound to help the general public. Earlier this week, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha laid the foundation stones for four National Highway (NH) projects worth Rs 3612 crore in Jammu and Kashmir, including commencement of the Srinagar Ring road project. The Union Minister said that the long-pending prestigious Srinagar Ring Road project would be completed by the end of 2023. As rightly said by him, road connectivity is indeed a key driver of the socio-economic growth and development of any region. And in Kashmir too, better road connectivity, for instance to unexplored tourist destinations, would mean more and more tourists lining up to visit them, which in turn would bring employment and help revive the ailing sectors of tourism and handicrafts. At the same time, there is a dire need to fix the recurrent issues with the 300-kilometre National Highway connecting Srinagar with Jammu as we have seen how the same remains largely impacted during the winter season. A slight drizzle too makes it vulnerable to landslides which over the years has turned it deadly for travelers. The highway connecting the Kashmir valley to the outside world is one of the most treacherous roads in South Asia. In 2019, more people died on the highway than in Kashmir’s regional conflict. The highway, as per the official data of the last 10 years, has reported over 8000 accidents in which nearly 2000 people have been killed. The most fatal stretch has been from Banihal to Chanderkote in particular witnessing 858 deaths as per the data. As for the work, 11 tunnel projects have been approved for J&K in one year only. Four tunnels will be built on Chenani-Kishtwar highway at a cost of Rs 10,000 crores. To modernize Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, tunnels at a cost of Rs 4000 crores, besides five flyovers worth Rs 3000 crore will be built in J&K, reducing the travel time and traffic congestion substantially. It is no secret that roads are being built at a much faster pace than ever before. This year a target of 8000 km of macadamisation has been set by the UT Administration. It is hence not surprising that Jammu and Kashmir today has the distinction of being the third-best in terms of road construction. The minister of road transport said during his visit that the work on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway would be completed in the next two to three years. One hopes that both the centre and the UT government would fulfil the promise and make the highway really weather-proof. If that is achieved, it is going to be one of the best gifts to people on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel.