An army vehicle suffered damage in shooting of stones from a hillock near the recently opened T-5 tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Sunday but no personnel were injured, officials said.
Ramban Deputy Commissioner Mussarat Islam took serious note of the matter and asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to get the vulnerable zone technically assessed so that immediate protection measures are taken to protect the lives of passengers travelling on the 270 km highway – the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country.
The 880-metre T-5 tunnel was thrown open for traffic on March 16, providing much needed relief to commuters as it bypassed the most vulnerable stretch of Panthyal which was infamous for the frequent shooting of stones from the hillock.
The officials said an Army convoy was moving through the tunnel when the rocks started coming down from the hillock, resulting in damage to one of the luxury vehicles. However, all its occupants escaped unhurt.
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The shooting stones continued on both sides of the tunnel for quite some time, resulting in disruption of the traffic, they said, adding no one was injured in the incident.
In a communication to the NHAI, the Ramban deputy commissioner said the massive shooting stone activity near the mouth of South Portal of Tunnel T-5 (Tube 1) poses a grave risk to the commuters if no remedial measures are immediately taken.
”You are advised to get the vulnerable zone technically assessed so that immediate protection measures are taken to protect the lives of passengers travelling on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway (now NH-44) as well as Tunnel T-5,” Islam said.
He said the Panthyal stretch on NH-44 has brought huge respite to the travellers and also helped in better regulation of traffic in absence of jams.