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Months After Construction Begins, Zojila’s J&K Contractor Looks For Alternative Tunnel Alignment | India News

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NEW DELHI: Just months after starting construction of the Zojila Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir, the contractor has sought an alternative tunnel alignment. He has cited difficulties in the construction of the approved tunnel alignment and that the new alignment will reduce the length of the tunnel by 1.2 km.
Sources said that three months ago, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd had sent a letter to the project manager of National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) requesting the alignment change. He said the location of the west portal (tunnel mouth) near the Baltal area is in the area of ​​avalanches and debris flow.
TOI has learned that the construction major has mentioned that the load in the initial length of the tunnel comprises boulders, boulders, boulders of different types of rocks such as quartzite, limestone with clay and landslides to a depth of 100 meters. “This will make tunneling very difficult and time consuming. The portal design also crosses the river many times and is aligned under the river in long stretches, which is likely to face serious problems from intense seepage in the tunnel, ”the letter says.
The company has stated that the change in alignment will reduce the length of the tunnel by 1.2 km and help avoid the river crossing and will also reduce the length of the access road by almost 800 meters.
NHIDCL sources said that giving approval in principle for a new alignment is not a problem, if it does not increase the cost of the project. “Since the contractor has claimed that the tunnel will be shorter, ideally we should spend less,” said an official.
Meanwhile, NHIDCL has asked the contractor to mobilize 100% of the labor and machinery before March to carry out the large-scale works.
The Hyderabad-based construction company had bagged the project at a price of 4,509 crore in August last year. The 14.2 km long tunnel that will ensure year-round connectivity between J&K and Ladakh, had been stalled for almost six years due to various reasons.

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