Indian railway engineers have achieved a major breakthrough after they managed to drill the most crucial tunnel in the Bankot area of Banihal.
The tunnel is part of 110 kilometers long rail line between Katra and Banihal. It is likely to be completed within the next two years.
IRCON International Limited has completed most of the excavation work of railway tunnels between Banihal and the Khari sector. A part of the 272-km Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail line, the project aims to provide an alternative surface link between Kashmir and the rest of the country.
According to an official, the 2-km-long tunnel project at Bankot is being constructed at a cost of Rs 300 crore in two parts. The 53-kilometer-long railway line’s 96% passes through underground tunnels and land measuring over 11,000 kanals (an area of 550 hectares) has been handed over to the authorities.
Imran Beigh, MD of Beigh Construction Company, told a national newspaper that for the first time, a road-header machine is being used in the excavation of railway tunnels in the Kashmir rail line project. In tunnel excavation, the load-header machine is being utilized and thanks to the machine, there is no need for conducting blasts inside the rail tunnels, which sometimes damage the nearby residential houses coming along the tunnels, the MD further said.
Beigh Construction Company has been given a one-year deadline to complete tunnel number 77, he said. The MD is hopeful that the company will complete the project within the deadline.