NHAI to undertake safety audits of all under-construction tunnels in country | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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After Uttarkashi mishap, NHAI to undertake safety audits of all under-construction tunnels in country

Nov 22, 2023 07:19 PM IST

There are 29 under-construction tunnels spread across the country.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will undertake a safety audit of all 29 under-construction tunnels across the country to ensure safety and adherence to the highest quality standards, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said on Wednesday.

A general view shows the entrance of the under-construction Silkyara road tunnel in Uttarkashi.(AFP)
A general view shows the entrance of the under-construction Silkyara road tunnel in Uttarkashi.(AFP)

“NHAI officials along with a team of experts from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) as well as other tunnel experts will inspect the ongoing tunnel projects and will submit a report within seven days,” the ministry said.

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The announcement comes in the backdrop of the collapse of the under-construction Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi on November 12, trapping 41 workers.

With a total length of about 79 km, the 29 under-construction tunnels are spread across the country with 12 tunnels in Himachal Pradesh, six in Jammu and Kashmir, two each in Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, and one each in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, and Delhi.

Also Read | Uttarakhand tunnel rescue: Senior official says ‘big news tonight or tomorrow’

NHAI also signed a memorandum of understanding with Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL). As part of the agreement, KRCL reviews design, drawing, and safety aspects related to tunnel construction and slope stabilisation of NHAI projects.

“KRCL will also conduct safety audits of tunnels and if required, suggest remedial measures. In addition to this, KRCL will organise training programs for capacity building of NHAI officials. This agreement will remain in effect for a period of two years,” the ministry said.

Also Read | First video of workers stuck inside collapsed Uttarkashi tunnel surfaces after ‘major breakthrough’

According to the ministry, NHAI had signed a similar agreement with DMRC in September to provide services for reviewing planning, designing, construction and maintenance of tunnels, bridges and other structures on National Highways across the country.

“The initiatives highlight NHAI’s resolve to create a safe & seamless National Highway network and collaborate with government organisations to share best practices for the enhancement of transport infrastructure, contributing towards the goal of Nation Building,” it added.

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