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Guv reviews NHIDCL roads and tunnels projects

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Srinagar, Aug 18: Governor N N Vohra chaired a meeting today to review the pace at which the vital Z-Morh and Zojila tunnel projects and certain major road projects are being executed by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited.

The review meeting was attended by Advisors B.B. Vyas and Khurshid Ahmed Ganai; Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam; Nagendra Nath Sinha, Managing Director, NHIDCL;  Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary Planning Development and Monitoring department; Shahid Anayatullah, Commissioner, Revenue; Baseer Ahmed Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Saurabh Bhagat, Commissioner Forest department; Dr. Piyush Singla, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal; and other officials.

During the meeting Managing Director NHIDCL informed that under the Z-Morh Tunnel project, 42 percent of the physical progress had been achieved in the case of excavation works and of the targeted 13,000 metre of excavation 5,489 metre has been completed and a Ventilation Tunnel of 596 metre length had been completed.

Pertinently, the work on Z-Morh Tunnel, with a total length of 6.5 km alongwith its approaches, is being constructed between the villages of Rezan and Shetkari on the Srinagar-Leh highway. It is planned to be completed in April 2020.

Governor also reviewed the progress of Zojila Tunnel which will provide all-weather year round connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.  It was informed that Zojila Tunnel will reduce the travel time from 3 hrs to 15 minutes. Work on this tunnel started in May 2018 and is expected to be completed in May 2025.

Governor discussed in detail the proposed ventilation and other facilities in both these tunnels and directed Dr. Piyush Singla, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, to immediately finalise location for setting up medical facilities with CCU and positioning of specialists, especially for coronary care and high altitude ailments. He directed Chief Engineer PDD to urgently prepare DPR for providing uninterrupted  3X10 MVA power supply for work in both the tunnels.

The meeting also reviewed the construction of Approach Road to the Western Portal of the Zojila Tunnel. Sinha informed that a detailed study is being conducted along with the Snow and Avalanches Study Establishment for construction of this 20 km stretch which has approximately 30 avalanche-prone sites and the work has already been awarded.

While reviewing the status of four-laning of the Jammu-Akhnoor national highway, Governor asked Advisor Ganai to visit the sites which are facing issues relating to alignments, widening, shifting of  utilities, land acquisition etc. and decide the same on the spot, as possible.

Governor directed Commissioner Revenue and Commissioner Forests, to ensure urgent resolution of issues relating to land acquisition, forest clearance and tree fellings.

Governor also reviewed physical progress of the proposed Alternate Highway on Chenani – Sudhmahadev–Goha–Khellani–Kishtwar– inthan Pass– hanabal section of NH-244 and directed early completion of land acquisition and forest clearances.

Sinha, informed that roads from Chatrooto Sinthantop (60 percent completed) and Sinthan Top to Khanabal (30  percent completed) are being improved through regular maintenance.

Governor asked the Chief Secretary to take an early meeting to settle all issues regarding the provision of security cover to the  entire staff engaged in the tunnel projects and settle related matters with the  Ministry of Home Affairs.

Governor also desired that CS should take monthly meetings to review the two tunnels and the projects discussed in today’s meeting and ensure against any delays holding up the pace of works.

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