Srinagar: In a relief for the people of Jammu and Kashmir the construction work on the much-awaited Qazigund-Banihal four-lane tunnel is nearing completion and is likely to be open for traffic from April in the ensuing year.
The construction work of the four-lane Qazigund to Banihal tunnel was awarded to an Andhra Pradesh based Navayuga Engineering Company by the NHAI with an estimated cost of over Rs 2000 crore.
The project missed several deadlines for many reasons in the past including the land conditions, lockdown besides financial issues known to the construction company.
Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Project manager of Qazigund-Banihal tunnel, Gaurav Gopal said that the work is expected to be completed by April 2021.
“The work on the Qazigund-Banihal four-lane tunnel is expected to be finalised by April 2021,” Gopal said.
Officials privy to the construction work said that the CCTV cameras and other facilities have been ensured with exhaust while some related work is still going in and outside the tunnel.
The tunnel is believed to reduce the road distance between Banihal in Jammu province and Qazigund in south Kashmir by 16 km from the present 35 km and will bypass Jawahar Tunnel and Shaitan Nalla, which is prone to heavy snowfall and slippery conditions during winters.
The Qazigund – Banihal stretch often remains closed for traffic movement due to the heavy snowfall and rains in the areas especially during the winter season.
The construction of the Qazigund-Banihal tunnel was started over a decade back but missed several deadlines will now make the travel over Srinagar Jammu Highway easier with the less consuming time that will be a major relief for the people of both Kashmir and Jammu division especially for the tourists who visit the Valley to enjoy the snowfall—(KNO)