Road work on the Katra-Delhi Express road corridor in India has begun and is expected to cut down travel time between the two destinations to around six and half hours.

Indian Union minister Jitendra Singh said that once the road becomes operational, people will prefer to travel from Katra to New Delhi by road rather than by train or air.

Singh was quoted by PTI as saying: “The hallmark of this road corridor is that it will connect the holy cities of Katra and Amritsar, and at the same time offer connectivity for some other major important religious shrines between the two destinations.

“The work has started on the first-of-its-kind Katra-Delhi express road corridor, which will be ready by 2023 and when it becomes functional, the travel time from Katra to Delhi will get reduced to around six and half hours, and from Jammu to Delhi to just about six hours.”

Following completion of the survey by Feedback Consultants, the process of land acquisition is almost complete, and now the work on the ground has begun.

The project is estimated to cost over Rs350bn ($4.6bn). This corridor will pass through Jammu and Kathua in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Jalandhar, Amritsar, Kapurthala and Ludhiana in Punjab.

The project will also involve simultaneous widening of the National Highway between Pathankot and Jammu. This highway will be upgraded from four lanes to six lanes.

The road corridor project is expected to boost industry and investments in this region.

“It will also pave the way for the growth of economic hubs in cities like Kathua and Jammu,” Singh added.