Jammu: The Central Government has constituted a committee of three independent experts to investigate the landslide and collapse in the stretch between Digdole and Khooni Nallah of Ramban Banihal section, where two workers were killed and 10 injured in the mishap on May 19, 2022.
The Committee members have already moved to the site of the mishap to investigate and suggest remedial measures thereof. While further action will be taken based on the report of the Committee, the National Highway Authority of India said it has already initiated a process to handle such emergency situation and also taking all possible measures to avoid such mishappening in future.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said today that those whose life could not be saved are being given workman compensation and additional ex-gratia of Rs 2.00 lakh by EPC contractor which amounts to at least Rs 15 lakh. The injured are also being adequately compensated. In addition, the UT administration has also announced ex- gratia relief of Rs 1.0 lakh. It is yet to be determined whether the occurrence of the incidence is due to work being executed or due to natural reasons, the NHAI said.
It may be recalled that on May 19, 2022, around 10.30 to 11 pm, landslides and shooting of stones started while the execution of portal support installation work of adit at Khooni Nallah was also being done. Before workers could be moved out, suddenly a huge rock mass fell above the false steel portal erected for the construction of the adit which caved in leading to the trapping of 12 workers at that spot. Senior NHAI officers immediately reached the site and rescue work was immediately started by State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and Jammu & Kashmir Police.
Authorities said two workers are rescued immediately and were hospitalized, and all possible medical aid was being extended to them. The rescue work was hampered by intermittent shooting stones and bad weather. The trapped workers did not survive and the bodies of 10 trapped workers were recovered by last evening.
The stretch between Digdole and Khooni Nallah of the Ramban Banihal section is prone to frequent landslides and shooting stones due to fragile geology.
The Ministry said that 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 and viaducts are proposed under 3 packages in the Ramban Banihal section. The Twin tube Tunnel work in 4-laning from Digdole to Panthyal on Jammu Srinagar Highway was awarded to Ceigall India Limited in JV with Patel Engineering Limited. The construction work started on February 1, 2022.
– global bihari bureau