RAMBAN: Union Secretary, Road Transport and Highways, Giridhar Aramane, today visited Banihal to assess the status of construction work on double-tube four-lane tunnel between Qazigund and Banihal which is a prominent part of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway widening project.
In this regard, the Union Secretary chaired a brief meeting at Banihal and reviewed the progress on the prestigious project with a detailed assessment of all vital aspects of the construction work.
Union Secretary observed that most of the civil, mechanical and electrical works have been completed while the toll plazas on both the terminals are also ready. He said that only security gadgets are pending due to COVID-19 restrictions on flights as they are being procured from Singapore. He assured that the mega project will be thrown open for public within weeks, which will reduce the travel distance on the highway by 16 km.
Pertinently, the construction work on the 8km tunnel cutting across the mountain range was started in 2011 by the ‘Navyug Engineering Company’ after approval by the NHAI.
According to construction agencies, the trial of various facilities inside the tunnel including ventilation set up and CCTVs installed inside the tunnel has already started and the tunnel is expected to be thrown open in coming weeks.
Union Road Secretary Calls On LG
Earlier Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday that all major road and highway projects under execution in the Union Territory shall be completed within the set timeframes to facilitate the trade and smooth movement of the public.
The LG made these remarks during a discussion with Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, who met Sinha at the Raj Bhavan here on Tuesday, an official spokesperson said. Union Secretary and LG, he said, held a detailed discussion on the execution of various major road and tunnel projects in the UT of J&K.
“Strong road connectivity is the vital component of socio-economic development of any region. All major road/highway projects under execution in J&K shall be completed within the set timeframes to facilitate the trade and smooth movement of the public,” Sinha said, as per official spokesperson.
The LG, he said, further stressed on timely maintenance of Highway stretches, especially those with high frequency of transportation.
Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Shailendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, Public Works (R&B) Department, and other concerned officials were present during the meeting.
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