Fresh cracks raise concerns over quality
Fresh cracks in the portal of the caved-in tunnel today raised serious questions about its design, survey and monitoring. Tunnel experts and geologists expressed concerns about safety of the tunnel.
They said the 1.2-km under-construction Tihra tunnel was right under the Tihra nullah, that had a very weak strata comprising silt rocks, clay stones and phyllites deposited by the Sutlej.
The Ministry of Surface Transport sought a report on the tunnel collapse from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), executing the Kiratpur-Nerchowk highway project.
NHAI general manager Satish Kaul, who went to the spot yesterday, said Jatinsa, an independent third party agency, was appointed to monitor the quality of construction and investigate reasons behind the tunnel collapse. “We have submitted a formal report to the ministry,” he said.
On the other hand, neither the NHAI nor the IL&FS, the contractor firm, had an exact answer for the cracks and sudden collapse of the tunnel.
“Something certainly went wrong in the tunnel. The exact reasons will be ascertained when experts examine it,” said IL&FS executive director Mukul Sapre, who was here yesterday.
“We have hired two Spanish and two Japanese tunnel experts to probe the reasons behind the collapse. We will ensure the safety of workers,” he said.