Banihal, July 6: Blasting inside the under construction railway tunnel near Banihal has caused cracks in several residential houses of Channar locality of Bankoot village of Ramban district thereby putting life and property at risk, locals said.
The locals told Greater Kashmir that the heavy blasting carried inside the railway tunnel no 77/D being built by tunnel construction company ABCI caused cracks in the walls of several houses at around 8PM Monday evening.
Soon after the incident, the people of Chhanar locality staged protest against the construction company at the tunnel site and stopped the ongoing construction work inside and outside the railway tunnel No. 77D, part of the 110 km long Katra- Banihal railway line section of the Kashmir rail project.
They demanded immediate compensation by the authorities after estimating the damages to their houses.
The agitated villagers of Channar- Bankoot further alleged that the railway tunnel construction company ABCI had "illegally detonated heavy explosives" inside the railway tunnel that damaged the houses.
They alleged that blading inside railway tunnel after 5 PM is "strictly prohibited, but ABCI company in the area always violated the norms set by IRCON International and Northern Railways for carrying out a blast inside tunnels".
The locals said that the cracks had rendered their houses unsafe even as posing a threat to the inmates.
When contacted, SDM Banihal Zaheer Abbas told Greater Kashmir that teams are being dispatched on Tuesday to assess the damages claimed by the villagers.
He further said the railway tunnel construction companies ABCI and IRCON International have been asked to send officers to the site to assess the damages caused due to the blasting as reported by the villagers.