Srinagar: The traffic authorities on Tuesday said that the restoration work on the portion of damaged road along the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir valley with rest of India, might take nearly ten days to make the strategic surface link motorable.
"Jammu-Srinagar National Highway shall remain closed due to sudden collapse of retaining wall of a bridge near Kela Morh, Ramban on January 10 at 6:20 p.m. Repairing by concrete filling and settling of the concrete for making it motorable may take approximately 10 days as per NHAI," a statement issued by traffic police headquarters read.
It further said that in the interim, to restore connectivity a Bailey bridge is being launched by the border roads organisation (BRO).
The statement further said that Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar, Jammu-Ramban, Gool Sangaldan, Magerkot-Banihal, and Banihal-Qazigund stretches are open for local traffic.
The 270-kilometre Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed for traffic after a portion of the road caved in near Ramban town on Sunday, hours after it was thrown open for traffic after remaining closed for seven days.
A portion of the road near Kela Morh, about four km ahead of the Ramban district headquarters, sank after a concrete retaining wall of the bridge collapsed, leading to the sinking of the road on Sunday evening.
While most of the Kashmir-bound vehicles had reached their destination when the road caved in near Ramban, few hundred vehicles got stranded, the officials had said, adding most of them, including trucks carrying essential supplies to Kashmir, were stopped at various places including Jammu and Udhampur districts.
The traffic on the highway plies alternatively from the twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar to facilitate a smooth movement of vehicles in view of the ongoing work on the four-laning highway project. (With PTI inputs)
Escape Tunnel To Be Ready By March: Govt
Earlier Jammu and Kashmir administration said on Tuesday that the escape tunnel of crucial Z- MORH, connecting Kashmir with Ladakh Union Territory is likely to be completed by March this year.
The information regarding it was given to the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole during a meeting to review pace and progress made on Z- MORH and Zojila tunnels connecting Valley with the Ladakh region, an official spokesperson said.
At the outset, he said, Executive Director, NHIDCL, gave a detailed PowerPoint Presentation (PPP) of Z-Morh tunnel, construction of approach roads, lanes, protective walls, drains besides the road and other projects. He said that the chair was informed that despite the snowfall the work process was going on smoothly on Zojila tunnel.
“At the outset, the Div Com said that the 65 percent physical work has been completed on Z- MORH while its escape tunnel is likely to be completed by March- ending. He said that despite snowfall and harsh weather conditions, the work was going on smoothly almost on all road and tunnel projects,” the official spokesperson said.
Stressing on the speedy work process, he said, the Div Com instructed concerned to ensure prompt response by all concerned departments to all bottlenecks causing inconveniences in the construction process.
“He emphasized on immediate lifting of scrap from the Z- MORH site and ensure adequate dumping site facility is provided to the concerned for dumping purpose,” Pole, as per official spokesperson said.
“He further stressed on providing uninterrupted power supply and carrying out snow clearance work on all approach roads and sites,” he added.
The Div Com, he said, directed concerned to ensure land acquisition process is completed with release of compensation to the land losers at the earliest.
“The Div Com also reviewed the status of various other projects including approach roads of Srinagar-Zojila and Kargil, Gulmarg- Baramulla Highway, Vailoo- Donipawa Ashajipora Alstop besides various other proposed road projects in Kashmir,” he said, adding “ Div Com directed concerned to put all men and machinery into service and expedite the work process,”
As per the official spokesperson, the meeting was informed that the deadline for the tunnel is December -21, 2023 however, a bonus upto Rs 400 crores shall be provided to the concerned agency if the project is completed before it’s set deadline.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Executive Director, NHIDCL, Anand Pahal, Commandant HAWS, CE Beacon and other concerned.While DC Kargil and ADC Ganderbal other concerned also attended the meeting through videoconferencing.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.