The Bold Voice of J&K

BRO achieves milestone, breaks through 2.79-km Sungal tunnel along Jammu-Poonch highway

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RAJOURI/JAMMU: The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on Tuesday achieved a significant milestone by breaking through the 2.79-km Sungal tunnel along the Jammu-Poonch national highway.

BRO chief Lt Gen Raghu Srinivasan expressed the hope of completing the strategically important project within the next couple of years.

Sungal, connecting Akhnoor and Poonch, is the second of the four tunnels on the strategic national highway 144-A, also known as the golden arc road, having achieved the milestone.

Earlier, the 700-metre Naushera tunnel achieved the breakthrough on January 28, while the tunnelling work inside 260 meter Kandi and 1.1 km Bhimber Gali is in progress.

“This is a great moment for all of us as the Jammu-Poonch link, advancing rapidly, is on track for completion in the next couple of years,” Lt Gen Srinivasan told reporters at the breakthrough ceremony of the Sungal tunnel.

Without naming Pakistan, he said this road is strategically very important in view of the “nefarious activities” of the neighbouring country which is backing terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The border areas of Poonch, Rajouri and Akhnoor are vital defence locations and when you are providing better connectivity, it automatically helps in enhancing defence preparedness,” Lt Gen Srinivasan said.

The BRO chief said both Naushera and Sungal tunnels will be completed by the end of this year.

“After completion of the vital road project, the time travel between Jammu and Poonch will be reduced by almost half from the present eight hours. The road widening and the four tunnels will provide all weather connectivity and provide a safe journey to the people,” he said.

He said the 200-km Akhnoor-Poonch section of the highway will drive the overall economic prosperity of the border region.

“The better roads will pave the way for massive development with investors coming forward with big projects,” he said.

The officials said the progress of the national highway has taken pace and the project is expected to be completed by 2026.

“BRO is spearheading crucial road projects to connect remote areas with major centres in the Jammu-Poonch region,” the BRO chief said.

Asked about the defence infrastructure along the Line of Control (LoC), the DG said its development is a continuous process and the BRO is committed towards the strengthening of defence infrastructure by building and upgrading strategic roads all along the International Border, LoC and Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The BRO and its Project Sampark are steadfast in their commitment to “create, connect, care and save lives” of the citizens of its area of responsibility, he said.

“It believes in the adage ‘Roads Build Nation’ and rededicated itself to the construction of border roads infrastructures to spur socio-economic progress,” he said. (PTI)

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