Governor against delays, reviews tunnel and road projects
Srinagar: After facing hindrances, 42 percent excavation works on the Z Morh tunnel that will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar-Leh has been completed.
National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Managing Director, Nagendra Nath Sinha informed in a meeting chaired by Governor NN Vohra that of the targeted 13,000 metre of excavation, 5,489 metre has been completed and a ventilation tunnel measuring 596 metre is completed. The 6.5 km tunnel started in 2015 is expected to be thrown open in 2020. Not only it will reduce distance but also ensure arrival of tourists during winters when the region remain cut off from rest of world due to snow.
An official handout said Vohra also reviewed the progress of Zojila Tunnel that will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. The tunnel will reduce the travel time from three hours to 15 minutes is expected to be completed in May 2025.
During the meeting, the Vohra asked Chief Secretary to take an early meeting to settle all issues regarding the provision of security cover to the entire staff engaged in the tunnel projects and settle the issue with the Ministry of Home Affairs. He also desired him to take monthly meetings to review the two tunnels and other projects to ensure work against any delay.
Governor also discussed in detail the proposed ventilation and other facilities in both these tunnels and directed Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Dr Piyush Singla to immediately finalise location for setting up medical facilities with CCU and specialists, especially for coronary care and high altitude ailments. He also directed Chief Engineer PDD to urgently prepare detailed project report for providing uninterrupted 3X 10 MVA power supply for work in both the tunnels.
While reviewing construction of approach road to the western portal of the Zojila Tunnel, Sinha said a detailed study is being conducted along with the Snow and Avalanches Study Establishment for construction of the 20 km stretch which has at least 30 avalanche prone sites, it said.
Meanwhile, reviewing the status of four laning of the Jammu-Akhnoor National Highway, Governor asked Advisor Khurshid Ganai to visit the sites which are facing issues relating to alignments, widening, shifting of utilities and land acquisition. He directed him to decide it on the spot. The Governor also directed Commissioner Revenue and Commissioner Forests to urgently resolve issues relating to land acquisition and forest clearance.
Vohra also reviewed physical progress of the proposed alternate highway on Chenani-Sudhmahadev – Goha – Khellani – Kishtwar – Sinthan Pass – Khanabal section of NH-244 and directed early completion of land acquisition and forest clearances. Sinha said that 60 percent work on Chatroo to Sinthan Top has been completed and similarly 30 percent work has been completed from Sinthan Top to Khanabal and the road is being regularly maintained.