Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways tweeted today that the project to transform the Kohima Bypass Road into a two-lane road with paved shoulders is underway. According to the Minister, the primary objective of this project is to enhance connectivity with other states in the northeast region, providing fast, sustainable, and cost-effective mobility options to all commuters.

 

tunnel
A 0.5-kilometer tunnel connecting National Highway 39, 150 (now NH-2), and 61 (currently NH-29) at Meriema. (Twitter photo @nitin_gadkari)

 

As part of Package-2, the Minister also stated that the proposed development will be 10.5 kilometers long and will contain a 0.5-kilometer tunnel connecting National Highway 39, 150 (now NH-2), and 61 (currently NH-29). The 0.5 km tunnel is at Meriema.

 

According to NHIDCL report, the construction of this bypass road is under the National Highways (Original) – NE scheme and its sanctioned cost was Rs 277.44 crore, of which Rs. 177 crore was awarded to M/s Bharat Building Pvt. Ltd. on 25 September, 2020.

 

A 500m (0.500 km) long tunnel near Meriema is a crucial component of this project, according to Bharat Construction Pvt. Ltd. The construction, according to the company, began in April 2021 and is estimated to take another two years to complete.

 

The project’s ‘Original Schedule Completion Date’ was 15 October 2022 but due to significant land acquisition challenges, the expected completion date has now been shifted to 31 July 2024.

 

It may be noted that the construction was delayed for nearly a year after initial tunneling work of 112 meters for the land owners were concerned of their ‘property damage’. Only on December 3, 2022, with the intervention of the DC Kohima and the Revenue Office, Kohima, were the landowners’ concerns addressed and work on the Kohima Bypass 2-Lane Road Tunnel segment at Chainage KM 11 Meriema Village resumed. According to NHIDCL, the cumulative physical progress percentage is presently 47.28%, while the cumulative financial progress percentage is 40.21%.

 

The company further said that the tunnel is a “crucial part” of the Kohima Bypass Project because it would not only relieve traffic congestion in the area but also give travelers a safer and faster route. The tunnel will also provide an alternate route in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency when surface routes are inaccessible.

 

The company also stated that they employed approximately 150 individuals; nonetheless, digging and excavating through hard rock and soil were ‘complex processes’ that were involved during the construction of the tunnel. They also said that the workers had to work in challenging conditions, such as confined spaces and limited visibility, which required them to be well-trained and experienced.

 

“This requires specialized equipment and skilled workers to ensure the safety and integrity of the tunnel structure,” the company stated.

 

Therefore, the company considers the completion of the excavation work to be a significant milestone and anticipates that the next phase of construction, which involves the lining and finishing of the tunnel, will begin soon. “The company is committed to completing the project on time and to the highest standards of quality and safety,” it said.

 

In conclusion, the company stated that it is committed to completing the project on schedule, to the greatest quality and safety standards, and to minimizing the impact on the local ecosystem.

 

Meanwhile, Gadkari claimed in his tweet that this project demonstrates PM Modi’s commitment to “delivering world-class highway infrastructure to the northeast and accelerating its economic growth.”

 

Mokokchung Times

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