Jammu, April 13 - Jammu and Kashmir built 872 km of roads connecting 240 habitats during 2011-12 as against a target of 750 km, an official said Friday.
Taking stock of the progress under the Prime Minister's Grameen Sadak Yojana, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah held a meeting and said linking rural and remote areas with highways was all the more important in a state like Jammu and Kashmir with a hilly and difficult terrain, the official said.
According to an official spokesman, Abdullah asked the department to penalise and blacklist those contractors who indulged in unnecessary delay in the completion of schemes.
Abdullah equated 'dependable road communication with economic prosperity'.
'You should give exemplary punishment to such unscrupulous contractors who are responsible for delays and deprive people of the benefits of works,' the official said, quoting the chief minister.
Some residents are not impressed with the government claim on rural road construction.
Mohammad Ashraf Naik of Kishtwar, 220 km north of Jammu, said: 'A majority of these roads are only on paper and those that exist on ground are sub-standard. The areas that really need connectivity are overlooked.'