JK News Today
JAMMU SEPTEMBER 10:
National Conference Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana on Monday expressed grave concern over the reports about leaks developed in all four tunnels on the Jammu-Udhampur National Highway just in about 45 months of opening and urged the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to come clear on the reports, as it involves safety of travellers and transportation of supplies.
“The NHAI must take immediate cognizance of the credible reports and dispel fears among the travelling people, vehicular operators and commuters”, Mr Rana said in a statement after visiting the tunnels this afternoon, adding that the national highway is a lifeline to Kashmir and Ladakh regions and its round the clock opening will have to be ensured at all costs
Mr Rana hoped that NHAI and the Ministry of Surface Transport will earnestly depute a team of experts to carry out safety audit. He said the nation cannot afford even brief closure of this link, as the surface transport is the only feasible link with the Valley and Ladakh.
The Provincial President said that if the reports of these tunnels having developed leaks last year are true then an impartial inqiry is needed to be initiated to identify those who kept this issue of immense public importance under the carpet. He said the security audit should cover all aspects from planning, survey and execution of this multi-core national project with special thrust on identifying those responsible for the sub standard execution.
He said the tunnels, described as engineering marvel, are reported to have gone certain renovation processes after the initial reports of leakage but the problem is alleged to have resurfaced again.
“This is alarming, especially as any such leakage has potential to put in jeopardy the safety of the Vaishno Devi and the Valley kind commuters’, Mr Rana maintained.
Mr Rana also asked the NHAI and the Jammu and Kashmir Government to come out with the fact sheet to dispel apprehensions, and if required close the tunnels till safety is ensured.
“In such an eventuality the old routes could be activated till the tunnels are safe”, he said, adding that this can off set panic gripping the people . He sought accountability of the concerned for substandard execution of the work.