Relief in the offing as strategic T5 tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar highway nears completion - Hindustan Times
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Relief in the offing as strategic T5 tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar highway nears completion

Feb 15, 2023 01:22 AM IST

The commuters would be able to bypass the Panthyal stretch in Ramban district, a point highly prone to shooting stones, as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is all set to complete the construction of 800-metre-long tunnel called T5

Come March 15 and a chronic issue, which not only plagued 247-km-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway for many years but also resulted in deaths and injuries, would be a thing of the past.

The T5 tunnel is a part of the highway realignment project, which would put an end to the ghost of shooting stones and disruption of traffic on Panthyal stretch in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir. (HT Photo)
The T5 tunnel is a part of the highway realignment project, which would put an end to the ghost of shooting stones and disruption of traffic on Panthyal stretch in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir. (HT Photo)

The commuters would be able to bypass the Panthyal stretch in Ramban district, a point highly prone to shooting stones, as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is all set to complete the construction of 800-metre-long tunnel called T5.

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The tunnel is a part of the highway realignment project, which would put an end to the ghost of shooting stones and disruption of traffic.

Ramban deputy commissioner (DC) Mussarat Islam said, “The stretch at Panthyal was the most problematic one on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway (NH44) because of the shooting stones, but the NHAI has promised to hand over the T5 tunnel to us by March 15. It would put an end to the problem of shooting stones and subsequent disruptions in traffic movement.”

The Jammu-Srinagar national highway is the only all-weather surface link that connects Kashmir valley with the outside world.

Islam said as a part of the realignment package between Ramban and Banihal, three tunnels ranging from 400 metres to 800 metres were to be constructed to bypass critical stretches on the highway. The DC said though the tunnel is not going to reduce the distance, it will completely bypass the problematic Panthyal stretch.

“Rains and snow trigger shooting stones, which become our biggest trouble. The last blockade for more than two days had happened at this stretch only,” he added.

Apart from T5 tunnel, the NHAI will also come up with two tubes of 16.6km length between Ramban and Digdol (up to Sher Bibi) and then connect it with a viaduct with Banihal expressway.

“Another problematic stretch at Mehar has already been covered with the help of 240ft suspension reinforced bridge over Chenab in Ramban. We use it for light motor vehicles and one truck with not more than 40 tonne capacity during contingency,” Islam said.

The single-lane bridge could be used for light vehicles in case of a disruption on Jammu-Srinagar national highway at Mehar and Cafeteria Morh.

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