Jammu — Chairman, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Yudhvir Singh Malik on Tuesday, 28 Feb informed Minister for Works Naeem Akhtar that the work on 9.50 km long Chenani-Nashri tunnel is in final stage of testing and certification. “If everything goes well, the tunnel could be inaugurated anytime next month,” the Chairman added. Regarding Qazigund-Banihal tunnel, Malik informed that the 8.5 km long tunnel is at the breakthrough stage and it would be commissioned in 2018. The report was published in a local daily.
NHAI chairman has been deputed to J&K on a two-day visit by Union Road and Surface Transport Ministry to personally review the progress of the key highway and other road projects in the state and submit a report to the Prime Minister’s Office. During his meeting with the Works Minister here today, the NHAI Chairman assured Akhtar that the Authority would ensure that the executing agencies stick to the deadline and ensure completion of works on key highway and road projects in time, reported Greater Kashmir.
The Minister emphasized expediting work on Srinagar-Qazigund stretch, Qazigund-Banihal tunnel, Banihal-Ramban section and Chenani-Nashri tunnel as part of upgradation of Srinagar-Jammu highway to facilitate hassle-free travel between the two capital cities of the State. He also reviewed the progress of work on Batote-Kishtwar highway and proposed Ring Roads in Jammu and Srinagar. The Minister sought the intervention of the NHAI chairman in expediting the work on these projects of vital importance to the State.
New highway projects:
Regarding new Highways of Batote-Doda via Sudh Mahadev and Jammu-Akhnoor, the meeting was informed that the Consultants have been asked to submit Detailed Project Report (DPR) within 6 months.
The Jammu-Akhnoor Highway has to be extended right up to Poonch via Rajouri. An amount of Rs 5100 crore has been earmarked for Jammu-Poonch Highway via Akhnoor and Rajouri in the Prime Minister’s Development Plan (PMDP). The Minister also sought the status update on three new Highways approved for the Kashmir valley including Baramulla-Rafiabad-Kupwara-Tangdhar, which has been named as NH No: 701, Baltal-Panchtarni-Chandanwari-Pahalgam-Batakut-Martand-Khanabal, which has been named as NH No. 501 and Srinagar-Shopian-Qazigund, which will be called as NH No. 444.
He also sought the progress of two new Highways approved in Ladakh region including Kargil-Zanskar in Kargil district, which has been named as NH No. 301 and Leh-Debring-Mulden in Leh district, which has been named as NH No: 3.
Commissioner Secretary R&B, Rohit Kansal, Member NHAI, Neeraj Verma, Regional Head NHAI, Hemraj and other senior officers of the R&B Department and NHAI were present at the meeting.
The NHAI chairman was scheduled to return to New Delhi on Wednesday, 1st Feb and submit his report to the PMO and Union Road Surface and Transport Ministry on the progress of projects of importance in Jammu and Kashmir.