Landslide, shooting stones and large boulders were seen falling on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district on April 2, Sunday. Vehicular traffic was disrupted for a few hours on the highway after shooting stones rained along the south portal of Tube-1 of the newly operational T5 Tunnel of the four-lane project at Panthyal on Sunday.
So far, no casualties were reported due to the incident. One Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) of the Army was damaged in the incident.
Reports suggested that the highway was shut for operations due to the landslide and it was reopened after the debris was cleared. Official sources said, "Later, after the shooting stones activity from the hillock stopped, the concerned agency of NHAI pressed its men and machinery for clearing the accumulated stones and debris from the road, leading to the north and south portals of the tunnel."
As the shooting stone activity halted the traffic movement on both sides of the tunnel, concerned about the safety of passengers, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ramban Mussarat Islam wrote to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to get the “vulnerable zone technically assessed for immediate protection measures”.
Referring to the videos doing rounds on the social media platforms about the shooting stones activity, the communiqué said NHAI that, "The lives of passengers entering or exiting the tunnel would be at grave risk if no remedial measures were immediately taken."
“In light of this, you are advised to get the vulnerable zone technically assessed so that immediate protection measures are taken to protect the lives of the passengers travelling on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway as well as T5 Tunnel, which has been constructed by your esteemed organisation after overcoming so many challenges," the DC wrote to NHAI.
The 880-meter long T5 Tunnel (Tube-1) was thrown open for traffic on March 16, 2023, to bypass the most vulnerable and shooting stone-prone stretch of Panthyal.
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