Foundation stone laid for 4-laning of NH project
The foundation stone was laid for four laning of Qazigund to Banihal section of National Highway (NH) – 44 (earlier known as NH-1A) from 189.350 Km to 204.700 Km in Jammu & Kashmir. The project also includes 2-tunnels of 8.45 Km and 0.69 Km length. The foundation stone was laid by the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Dr. C.P. Joshi at Qazigund, District-Anantnag, J&K. The Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Omar Abdullah, the Union Minister for New Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah and the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad were present on the occasion.
Entire mountainous stretch of NH-1A from km 189.350 to 220.00 km is geo-dynamically active which results in frequent slope failure, rock falls, and avalanche. On an average road remains closed for over 40 days in a year with continuous maintenance. To make the road all weather, the tunnel have been proposed which will reduce the distance between Banihal and Srinagar by about 16 kms thus giving a saving of about Rs27 crore per year on vehicle operation cost for present day truck traffic only. Besides this travel time will also be reduced by about 2 hours. Besides this the road on northern slopes after km 189.00 is having blind curves, steep gradient and restriction of load of 8 tonne only. The proposed new highway has been designed with 2-lane tunnels to avoid steep gradients, blind curves so as to remain operational throughout the year.
All weather flow will be maintained between Jammu and Srinagar as the new proposed alignment is well below the snowline and will avoid the landslips area and Snow Avalanches Zones. There will be increased road safety with the construction of New Alignment as per latest specifications and standards. The existing alignment will be bypassed which has poor road geometrics and like sharp curves, Land slip area and Snow Avalanches Zone. The distance between Jammu and Srinagar will be reduced by approx 50 Kms and the travel time will be reduced to 5-6 hours from 8-10 hours. The circuitous routes and ascending and descending will be eliminated.
The travel speed will increase from 30-50 km/hr to 70 km/hr which will result in reduction of accident and vehicle operating cost. The safe and faster travel will lead to increase in tourist inflow and saving in economic cost of states. The capital expenditure of approx Rs 10000 crore will lead to increase in employment in State of J&K. The period of construction has been proposed as 5 years.