Jammu/April, 3: As a part of massive connectivity program, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), a company owned by Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, is working on five major tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir besides five important road projects.
This information was given by Anand Kumar, Managing Director NHIDCL during his meeting with the Minister for Public Works Department, Naeem Akhtar here Monday.
Kumar said while work is in progress on 6. 5 KM long Z-Morh Tunnel near Gagangeer on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Highway, work on Zojilla Tunnel with approximate length of 14 KMs on Srinagar-Leh highway is expected to start by August this year.
He said work on two more tunnels, one each on Mughal Road and Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar road, is likely to start next year as the bids have already been invited by NHIDCL for preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for these tunnels.
He said the proposed 7 KM long tunnel on Mughal Road from Zaznar to Chathapani will connect Shopian in south Kashmir with Bafliaz in Poonch district bypassing the snowbound hilly stretch of the road. “The proposed tunnel on Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar road would start at Ahlan in Vailoo area of Kokernag and bypass treacherous stretch on road that remains buried under snow during winter to directly connect with Chatroo area in Kishtwar,” he said and added that similarly bids have also been invited for preparation of DPR for construction of 4.5 kilometer long tunnel between Sudhmahadev and Dranga on Batote-Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha-Khillani road to provide alternate connectivity to Doda and Kishtwar districts from Jammu.
Kumar informed the Minister that NHIDCL is also working on upgradation for five important roads in Jammu and Kashmir including Batote-Kishtwar-Sinthan Pass-Anantnag road, 67 KM long Uri-Poonch road, 39 KM long Baramulla-Baba Reshi-Gulmarg road, Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch highway and Chenani-Sudhmahadev-Goha road.
The Minister asked the NHIDCL chief to expedite work on restoration of Kishtwar-Sinthan Pass-Anantnag road by deploying adequate men and machinery for snow clearance.
Akhtar stressed the need for capacity building of the local youth by big construction companies like NHIDCL, so that they can become part of the infrastructure revolution coming about across the country.
The Minister assured complete support of the State Government to NHIDCL on all fronts for the timely completion of these prestigious connectivity projects in J&K.
Kumar informed the Minister that as a part of the capacity building of the local entrepreneurs, engineers, technocrats and skilled human resource, most of the technical manpower on the mega projects is being organized locally. He said some of the engineers from J&K have now become experts in tunneling and their expertise is being used elsewhere in the country.