Jammu, Aug 24 (KMS): Even before formal inauguration of much trumpeted, Banihal-Qazigund tunnel, flyover of the approach road towards Jammu end has developed a crack thus forcing immediate diversion of vehicular traffic.
Though the construction company and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) claimed that the crack was minor and would be repaired within two-three days, authorities in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) are learnt to have taken serious note of this damage within three weeks of the trial run and sought an audit report from the project executing agencies.
“The crack is spread in around 2.5 square meter area on the macadamized road of the flyover and may take around a week to get fully repaired for restoration of traffic on the stretch,” official sources told media in IIOJK.
Reports said that crack was spotted on the flyover near the Banihal-Qazigund tunnel, which was recently thrown open for trial run. Workers noticed the crack on the stretch between the toll plaza in Banihal and the tunnel following which traffic coming from Kashmir towards Jammu was immediately diverted.
However, traffic movement in the double-tube four-lane tunnel was going on smoothly. The damaged stretch was blocked and the traffic from Kashmir was diverted towards the road connecting tunnel from Jammu side, sources said adding that men and machinery are being pressed into service for early restoration of normal vehicular movement.
It is pertinent to mention that the 8.5-km-long Banihal-Qazigund tunnel, built at a cost of Rs 2,100 crore, was opened for trial run on August 4. Work on the tunnel, which is part of ongoing four-lane Jammu-Srinagar National Highway Project, was started in June 2011 by the Navyug Engineering Company. Its operationalisation reduces travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by about 1.5 hours and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to formally inaugurate the tunnel.