Sgr-Jmu highway expansion goes off the track

NHAI Writes To Concessionaire About ‘Sluggish’ Work


Srinagar, Jan 18: While the Government of India is yet to decide on awarding two sub-projects related to the Srinagar-Jammu highway expansion, the mega project has hit another roadblock. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has sought explanation from a concessionaire executing the Qazigund-Banihal phase of the project over “slow down” in construction of one of the main tunnels on the highway, which is undergoing partial realignment to cut down the distance.
Sources said work on the 15-km Qazigund-Banihal tunnel has “gone down” over the past couple of months. They said the pace of work witnessed steep fall during the past one month following which the authorities at the NHAI took up the matter with the executing concessionaire— Navyuga Engineering Co. Ltd.
“We have written to them and sought reasons for slow down in the work,” said NHIA Project Director for Srinagar, Veerendra Singh. “But there has been no response so far,” he told Greater Kashmir.
The Qazigund-Banihal tunnel, along with the 12-km Chenani-Nashri tunnel, are the two main tunnels under construction along the highway as part of the mega 4-lanning project.
According to officials, the partial new alignment of the road with around 14 tunnels, 40 bridges, a number of viaducts and flyovers would reduce the length of over 300 km highway by at least 50 kms.
While May 2014 is the scheduled completion period for the partially realigned Srinagar-Jammu highway projects, the main tunnels are targeted for completion in 2016. The entire project estimated to cost over Rs 11000 crore, is part of the North-South corridor. However the project is feared to miss the deadline.
An official at NHAI, which is implementing the project, said the Union Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) was yet to decide on tendering out the work on two sub-projects: Ramban-Banihal (36 Kms) and Udhampur–Ramban (43 KMs). Last time the process was unsuccessfully taken up in 2010. “The decision has to be taken by the Government of India,” the official said.
The other sub-projects are Srinagar-Banihal (67.76 Kms), Qazigund-Banihal (15.25 Kms), Chenani-Nashri (12 Kms) and Jammu-Udhampur (65 Kms).
The sub-projects were awarded to Ramkey Infra and JPTEG India-China, Navyuga Engineering Co. Ltd, IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd and Shapoorji & Palonji Co Ltd respectively.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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