Ministry of Road Transport & Highways on Sunday said that the cause of the under-construction four-lane tunnel collapse on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Ramban is yet to be determined if the incident took place due to the work being executed or natural reasons.
The Ministry also said that the Centre has constituted a three-member committee of independent experts which has initiated its probe on the site. Further action will be taken based on the report of the committee.
A part of an under-construction four-lane tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Ramban district collapsed on Thursday night claiming the lives of at least 10 workers.
"It is yet to be determined whether the occurrence of the incidence is due to work being executed or due to natural reasons. A Committee of 3 no. of independent Eminent Experts has been constituted by Central Govt which has already moved to site to investigate the reasons for Slide/Collapse and remedial measures thereof. Further action will be taken based on report of Committee. NHAI has already initiated process to handle such emergency situation and also taking all possible measures to avoid such mishappening in future," said a statement by the Ministry.
The Ministry also termed the stretch between Digdole and Khooni Nallah of the Ramban Banihal section "prone to frequent landslides" due to "fragile geology".
"Considering the strategic importance of maintaining all-weather connectivity to Srinagar and after assessing the challenges in ensuring the stability of Hill slopes on existing alignment, Tunnels/Viaducts are proposed under three packages in the Ramban Banihal section. The construction work started on February 1," said the Ministry.
Meanwhile, A compensation of Rs 16 lakhs each will be given by the construction company to the family of those who died in the incident, said an official.
The Deputy Commissioner said that Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha has also announced 1 lakh ex gratia from the relief fund.