May 22, 2022 11:38 pm

Delhi Forms Panel To Probe Ramban Tunnel Collapse

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Bodies Of Labourers Sent To Hometowns

New Delhi- The Centre has constituted a committee of 3 independent experts to investigate the reasons for recent collapse of a part of under-construction tunnel in Ramban on Jammu-Srinagar highway and suggest remedial measures.

State-owned National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already initiated process to handle such emergency situation and also taking all possible measures to avoid such incidents in future, an official statement said on Sunday.

” A committee of 3 independent eminent experts has been constituted by the central government which has already moved to the site to investigate the reasons for slide/collapse and remedial measures thereof… Further action will be taken based on report of committee,” it said.

According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) office order, Professor J T Sahu of IIT Delhi will be the chairman of the committee, and it will submit the report to the ministry within 10 days.

According to the official statement, the stretch between Digdole and Khooni Nallah of Ramban Banihal section is prone to frequent landslide and shooting stones due to fragile geology. Considering the strategic importance of maintaining all- weather connectivity to Srinagar and after assessing the challenges in ensuring stability of hill slopes on existing alignment, tunnels, viaducts are proposed under 3 packages in Ramban-Banihal section, it said.

“On 19.05.2022 around 10.30 to 11 PM, land slide and shooting of stones started while the execution of portal support installation work of adit at Khooni Nallah was also being done. Before workers could be moved out, suddenly huge rock mass fell above the false steel portal erected for construction of adit which caved in leading to trapping of 12 workers at that spot,” the statement said.

Senior NHAI officers immediately reached the site and rescue work was immediately started by SDRF, NDRF, J&K Police, the statement said adding two workers were rescued immediately and were hospitalized; and all possible medical aid is being extended to them.

It said the trapped workers did not survive and bodies of 10 trapped workers were recovered by last Saturday evening.

Those whose life could not be saved are being given workman compensation and additional ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh by EPC contractor which amounts to at least Rs 15 lakh.

The injured are also being adequately compensated and in addition, the UT administration has announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh.

It is yet to be determined whether the incident occurred due to work being executed or due to natural reasons, the statement added.

The twin tube tunnel work in 4-laning from Digdole to Panthyal on Jammu-Srinagar highway was awarded to Ceigall India Limited in JV with Patel Engineering Limited. The construction work started on February 1, 2022.

Bodies Of Labourers Sent To Hometowns

Jammu: Two local labourers, who were among the 10 killed after a landslide hit an under-construction tunnel here, were laid to rest in their native Ramban district in Jammu and Kashmir, while the mortal remains of eight others were dispatched to their hometowns outside the union territory, officials said on Sunday.

Ten labourers – five from West Bengal, two each from Jammu and Kashmir and Nepal, and one from Assam – died after a landslide hit the mouth of the adit tunnel to T4 on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Khooni Nallah in Ramban on Thursday night.

While the body of one of the labourers was recovered on Friday, those of the nine others were retrieved during the day-long rescue operation on Saturday. After the landslide on Thursday, three injured workers had been rescued.

Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Mussarat Islam said bodies of the two local labourers –Muzaffar Sheikh (38) and Mohammad Ishrat (30) – were handed over to their family members within a few hours after being pulled out from under the debris.

Both were laid to rest at their ancestral graveyard near Panthiyal village in Ramban district late on Saturday, he said.

The remaining eight bodies — Jadav Roy (23), Gautam Roy (22), Sudhir Roy (31), Deepak Roy (33) and Parimal Roy (38) of West Bengal, Nawaraj Chowdhury (26) and Khushi Ram (25) of Nepal and Shiva Chowhan (26) of Assam were shifted from Ramban to Jammu.

Nodal officers were contacted in West Bengal, Assam and Nepal, and accordingly, the bodies of the deceased were separately moved to Delhi. They are being handed over to their family members in their respective home towns, the officials said. (PTI)

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