SRINAGAR, Aug 18: Governor N N Vohra chaired a meeting today to review the pace at which the vital Z Morh and Zojila Tunnel projects and certain major road projects are being executed by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, (NHIDCL).
The review meeting was attended by B B Vyas and Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Advisors to Governor; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Nagendra Nath Sinha, Managing Director, NHIDCL; Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary to Govt. Planning Development and Monitoring Department; Shahid Anayatullah. Commissioner, Revenue Department; Baseer Ahmed Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Saurabh Bhagat, Commissioner Forest Department; Dr. Piyush Singla, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal; Sanjeev Malik, Executive Director NHIDCL; M G Vijay Kumar, General Manager (P); Ram Bachan Shivali, DGM (P); Sh. Ashutosh Chandwar, Senior Vice-President, IL& FS; Rishish Jha, Project Director, Z Morh; Richardson Christenson, Project Director Zojila, IL& FS; Maj. Gen. Amin Naik (Retd.) IL&FS; Ignacio Urerte, Tunnel Safety Expert, Z Morh Eptisa and Majid Imran, Tunnel Engineer, Z Morh, Eptisa.
The Managing Director, NHIDCL made a presentation to inform that under the Z Morh Tunnel Project, 42% of the physical progress had been achieved in the case of excavation works and of the targeted 13,000 m of excavation 5,489 m has been completed and a Ventilation Tunnel of 596 metre length had been completed.
Pertinently, the work on Z Morh Tunnel, with a total length of 6.5 km along with its approaches, is being constructed between the villages of Rezan and Shetkari on the Srinagar – Leh Highway. It is planned to be completed in April 2020.
The Governor also reviewed the progress of Zojila Tunnel which will provide all weather year round connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. It was informed that Zojila Tunnel will reduce the travel time from 3 hrs to 15 minutes. Work on this tunnel, started in May 2018, is expected to be completed in May 2025.
He discussed in detail the proposed ventilation and other facilities in both these tunnels and directed Dr. Piyush Singla, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, to immediately finalise location for setting up Medical facilities with CCU and positioning of Specialists, especially for coronary care and high altitude ailments. He directed Chief Engineer PDD to urgently prepare DPR for providing uninterrupted 3X 10 MVA power supply for work in both the Tunnels.
The meeting also reviewed the construction of Approach Road to the Western Portal of the Zojila Tunnel. Sinha informed that a detailed study is being conducted along with the Snow and Avalanches Study Establishment for construction of this 20 km stretch which has approximately 30 avalanche prone sites and the work has already been awarded.
While reviewing the status of four laning of the Jammu-Akhnoor National Highway, the Governor asked Advisor Ganai to visit the sites which are facing issues relating to alignments, widening, shifting of utilities, land acquistion etc. and decide the same on the spot, as possible. He directed the Commissioner Revenue and the Commissioner Forests, to ensure urgent resolution of issues relating to Land Acquisition, Forest clearance and Tree Fellings.
The Governor also reviewed physical progress of the proposed Alternate Highway on Chenani – Sudhmahadev – Goha – Khellani – Kishtwar – Sinthan Pass – Khanabal section of NH-244 and directed early completion of land acquisition and forest clearances. Sinha, informed that roads from Chatroo to Sinthantop (60% completed) and Sinthan Top to Khanabal (30 % completed) are being improved through regular maintenance.
The Governor asked the Chief Secretary, to take an early meeting to settle all issues regarding the provision of security cover to the entire staff engaged in the Tunnel Projects and settle related matters with the Ministry of Home Affairs. He desired CS to take monthly meetings to review the two tunnels and the projects discussed in today’s meeting and ensure against any delays holding up the pace of works.