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4 laning of NH by May 2016

Two remaining stretches to be allotted next year

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, May 29: Though tenders for four lanning of 79 kilometre of National Highway from Udhampur to Banihal are yet to be invited, by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the authorities still claimed that they will complete the project by May 2016, the deadline already given by them.
The work on four lanning of NH from Jammu to Srinagar was started in year 2011 and the authorities had given the dead line of completing the entire project by May 2016. Though widening is in progress on remaining portion of Highway, the allotment of work on two stretches of Highway including 43 km stretch from Ramban to Udhampur and 36 km long strip from Ramban to Banihal have not been made yet. However authorities are hopeful that there will be no delay in the work and entire project will be completed by the stipulated time as the process for tendering the remaining two stretches has been started and the bidding will be held by next year.
According to official sources, the organization is on the job to complete the bidding process and once it was over, the work would be started on war footing  to complete the project by May 2016.
Sources said while the 65 kilometre stretch of the National Highway from Jammu to Udhampur will be completed by June next year, the work is in progress on 67.76 kilometre stretch of National Highway from Srinagar to Banihal and  15.25 kilometre long Qazigund to Banihal tunnel the approximate cost of which is Rs 1101crore and Rs 1987 crore respectively. The estimated cost of work from Jammu to Udhampur is Rs 1814 crore, sources added.
Sources said the work is in progress on 11 kilometre long stretch of Highway form Chenani to Nashri which includes 9 kilometre long tunnel and 2 kilometre long road. It will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2519 crore and till date Rs 1407 crore have been incurred on it, sources added.
Along with main tunnel, a nine kilometre long escape tunnel is also being constructed in this area. Out of 9 kilometre long tunnel, excavation has been done on 5 kilometre stretch of the tunnel in this area while 6.4 kilometre of escape tunnel out of 9 kilometre has also been dug.  The escape tunnels provision has been kept for emergency purposes.
The escape tunnel will have 29 Nos of cross passages with each being 35 metre long. It will have two number 40 m and 50 single span bridges, two rotary junctions at Km 89 and km 130 respectively and two toll plazas at both ends.
The work is also in progress on two bridges on both sides of the tunnel, sources added.
Presently the Highway has two tunnels with 2.4 kilometre long Jawahar tunnel and 150 metre long Nandni tunnel. With construction of nine kilometre Chenani -Nashri tunnel the road length in this stretch of Highway will be reduced to 11 kilometre from existing 41 km long road via Kud-Patnitop. The 30 kilometre distance will be shortened on Highway through Chenani-Nashri tunnel as the Highway will by pass the Patnitop, Kud and Batote.
Sources said with the four-lanning of the road the length of National Highway will be reduced from 300 kilometre to 250 kilometre and the distance from Srinagar to Jammu will be covered in five hours instead of eight to nine hours at present.
The portion of National Highway from Srinagar to Banihal will be completed by June 2014 also, sources added.
It may be recalled that the work on the project was started in 2011
According to R P Singh Road Widening Project Director, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the agency is on the job and the work will be competed with in stipulated time. He said efforts are on to complete the allotment process of the remaining portions of the road by next year so that work is started on war footing basis to finish the project in a stipulated time frame.

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