JAMMU: Even before the formal inauguration of Banihal-Qazigund tunnel, a flyover of the approach road towards the Jammu end has developed a crack thus forcing the immediate diversion of vehicular traffic today.
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, Government authorities 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,” newspaper Daily Excelsior quoted official sources as having said.
Reports said that crack was spotted early this morning 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.
Project Director NHAI, Subramanyam told the Excelsior that it was a minor issue and there was nothing serious in execution or quality of work. “A small patch of the flyover has developed a minor crack which is being taken care of to ensure early restoration of traffic movement,” he said, adding that concrete around the crack will be broken and then refilled with fresh mixture.
” It will take two-three days to repair the damage and restoration of traffic on this stretch,” Subramanyam said.
The Navyug Construction Company, which has executed the project, also claimed that it was a minor issue as all the pillars of the flyover are safe.
However, official sources told the Excelsior that the Government authorities have taken a serious note of the damage to the flyover even before its formal inauguration and within three weeks since it was thrown open for trial run.
“It is around 2.5 square meter crack, which cannot be termed as a minor damage, particularly in view of the fact that this tunnel along with the flyover is yet to be formally inaugurated,” the report quoted sources as having said and informed that an audit report in this regard has been sought from the project executing agencies for further action.
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, reported Daily Excelsior.