Beacon to construct tunnels to avoid highways’ closure
Srinagar, Jan 17: Border Roads Organisation Monday said it was planning to construct underground tunnels at major passes in Kashmir to make them all weather routes and avoid their blockage due to snow accumulation.
The organization also informed that vital road links in Kashmir and the Srinagar-Jammu highway were cleared of snow within a record time.
“We are carrying out tunnel study at various locations in Kashmir,” Brigadier (VSM), TPS Rawat said during an interaction with media at Beacon headquarters at Rangreth here. “The locations where tunnels have to be build include Zojila pass, Razdan pass, Sadhna Top and Furkian Gali.”
He said these passes get closed soon after it snows. “We want to make these routes all-weather roads. It would also help in connectivity between areas which otherwise remain cut-off for months together.”
Giving details about the snow clearance operations during the recent snowfall, Rawat said it was for the first time that snow was cleared from the Srinagar-Jammu highway in record time.
“Soon after it started snowing on the highway, we pressed our men and machines on job to clear the road,” he said. “That is why the road is operational.” He said they were in contact with state and weather departments.
“When we were told it’s likely to snow heavily, we spread salt on the road to make it less slippery,” Rawat said. “The road is one-sided since many vehicles which had left Jammu were stranded at many places as they could not proceed due to traffic jam on the road.”
He said at Patnitop some 3000 vehicles were stranded. “We also sometimes do not allow them to move in the morning because of slippery road condition.”
Rawat said the two way traffic was not allowed on highway since it was hampering Beacon’s road-clearance operation.
“We allowed the two way traffic but when it snowed we could not move our machines as the traffic was congested near the Banihal tunnel,” he said. “So to make the functioning of Beacon effective and road operational we had to allow one-way traffic.”
Rawat said that snow from Srinagar airfield was cleared in record time. “When it stopped snowing on January 15, there was 17 inches of snow accumulation there. We pressed our machinery and men and by 12 pm we cleared the strip,” he said.
He also said work is in progress to clear the Sadhna top pass, Furkian Gali and Razdan Pass. “They will be operational within days,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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