Z-Morh Tunnel: Construction Company Violates Court Directive

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Ganderbal: A Hyderabad based construction company Apco involved in the construction of Z-Morh tunnel near tourist resort Sonmarg is posing serious threat to fragile ecology and trout habitat in Nallah Sindh.

In sheer violation of court orders the company has constructed concrete work shop and service station on the banks of Nallah Sindh thus disturbing its fragile ecology and posing a threat to the trout habitat.

Pertinently, the work on the construction of 6.5 kilometer tunnel between Gagangir and Sonamarg in Ganderbal district was started in the year 2014 after contract was awarded to Apco by the Government of India. This Rs 7,000 crore project is a part of the mega road communication project to ensure undisrupted connectivity between Kashmir and Ladakh.

The tunnel, located 2,637 metres above sea level, will ensure the passage of 1,000 vehicles an hour at an approved maximum speed of 80 km per hour.

  From past two years, the work on 20 metres has been completed only. News agency CNS quoting eyewitnesses that the actions of Apco can ruin the fragile environs of the world famed Nallah Sindh. “As per court directions, no construction can be done within the limits of 300 feet from the banks of nallah Sindh, but the company has constructed work shop and service station right on the banks of nallha Sindh.

The dirt and other undesirable material directly go into nallha Sindh after vehicles are washed at this service station,” said locals.

The company’s workforce have been accommodated in different hotels and in absence of any drainage system, the vehicles supplied by Urban and Local Bodies Department collect the waste material and garbage of these hotels and dump that into a temporary trench at Rezan, a place located on the banks of nallah Sindh.

The Border Roads Organization (BRO), which is the implementing agency for the project, has also failed to dump dig-out earth from the tunnel construction properly at the proposed site. “There is no mechanism of mud disposal. The way construction is going on will only add pollution and disturb the trout habitat in the nallah Sindh. The work has been going on at snail’s pace and in coming year’s if company doesn’t adopt scientific measures, nallah Sindh is bound to lose the sheen.”

Worth to mention here is that the foundation stone of the tunnel was laid by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways in October 2012, in presence of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

 Despite repeated attempts the Project In charge Mr B.K Singh could not be contacted for comments. Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Tariq Hussain Ganai said: “If there is any violation, I will take note of it. I will verify the facts on ground.”

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