Tunnel Expected To Be Thrown Open For Traffic In 18 Months
Excavation and boring of one of the tunnel tubes of 8.5 kilometre long Banihal-
Qazigund four-lane highway tunnel has been completed.
Sources in Nauyuga Engineering Company, executing the Rs 2100 crore four-lane tunnel project, said the ‘last blast’ in tube one was done Thursday morning and boring work with Austrian Tunnelling Method (ATM) of tube number two is under progress and will take three more weeks to ‘break through’. He said a function would be held at the time of the last blast in presence of VIPs.
After completing excavation of one tube now we are about 15 meters away from break through with last blast of tube two, said the source. He said work in second tube is going on day and night on war footing despite loose rocks and water leakage issues inside the tunnel.
The four-lane tunnel was handed over to Nauyuga Engineering Company in 2011-12 by National Highway Authority of India. Several deadlines to complete this tunnel have expired already because of “unavoidable behaviour of rocks” inside tunnel and lot of strikes by workers.
The tunnel is expected to be thrown open for traffic in next 18 months.