Mughal Road hits another road block
PKG Tunnel Proposal Likely To Be Put Off
Jammu, Aug 18: The much hyped Pir-ki-Gali tunnel project announced by the State Government to be build on the historic under-construction Mughal road could, once again, run into rough weather, as it is unlikely to get environmental clearance from the Union Environmental Ministry.
Sources said as the government is lobbying with the union government to get additional funds for the construction of the tunnel at 11000 feet near Pir-ki-Gali, the whole project could be put off owing to the environmental hurdles.
If sources are to be believed, the state government has been indicated that the proposal for the construction of the tunnel may be put off as of now there were many impediments from the environmental ministry to give clearance to the tunnel. The tunnel would have made the road as `all weather passage’.
Sources further said the turmoil of the past two months in Kashmir valley has forced the executing agencies to stop the work from the Shopian side, which could further delay the deadline set by the government for throwing open the road for the vehicular movement. The executing agencies had set September as the deadline to open the road for regular traffic.
Confirming this Minister for Public Works, Ghulam Muhammad Saroori said, “Tunnel project will take some time. Though we have sent the DPR to the centre but project needs so many clearances. For the moment our concern is to complete the road construction in time”.
The minister said that the centre has released additional funds for the completion of the project, but work from the Shopian side has been stopped due to the unrest in Kashmir. “While road work is going on from Bafliaz side, from Kashmir side we are not able to dispatch material”, Saroori said.
It is pertinent to mention here that Mughal road is long saga of missed deadlines. The original project was of Rs 255 crore, but the delays since 2006 escalated the cost and recently a central team revised the cost to Rs. 639.85 crore to accommodate construction of double-lane, seven major bridges, 21 minor bridges and 263 culverts.
“The government wants to complete construction of road as early as possible as it would not only be an alternate link between the two regions, but will also connect the two border districts with the valley, to end dependence on the NH-1 which remains closed during the winter months”, said an official.
The Mughal road project, passing through Buffliaz, Poshana, Chattapani, Peer Ki Gali, Aliabad, Zaznar, Dubjan, Heerpora and Shopian, will reduce the distance of 541 km from Poonch to Srinagar to only 174 km and the travel time from 32 hours via Jammu to 7 hours via Buffliaz-Shopian.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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