KOHAT, Nov 29: A low-intensity earthquake, which hit the area a few days back, has caused two cracks in the 1.8885 km-long Kohat Tunnel, a Rs 6.5 billion NHA project which is near completion, Dawn has learnt.
The foreign engineers have claimed that the damage was of a very minor nature; the three-metre-long cracks had developed only in the concrete. The crevices had appeared at 57th metre from the Kohat side.
Engr Pervez Gul, the project director of Kohat Tunnel, informed Dawn that the tunnel could bear the pressure of earthquakes up to the highest intensity which were rare in Pakistan.
The Japanese engineers, after a thorough survey said that earthquakes were a usual phenomena in Japan and, all tunnels constructed by their company had survived the jolts of highest magnitude on the Richter scale..
It may be recalled that during the 20 years of surveys by different companies of the rock structure of various proposed tunnel sites the mountain had been termed as full with water reservoirs and consisting of a loose rock structures at various places.
The project, which was first proposed by the government of the late Mufti Mahmood in the seventies, had to be shelved in the light of these reports several times.
The PD informed that the water from the three springs inside the tunnel was gushing out at a speed of 200 litters per minute and had been so far under control.
He said that earlier the experts thought it was a seepage which they expected would stop after a few months but only the pressure had decreed during last eight months from 2500 litters per minute down to 200 litters. He said that the springs would be the permanent feature of the tunnel and were of no harm to the structure.
He said that according to an agreement with the Japanese Taisei company, which was constructing the tunnel, in the event of any damage done all repair costs would be borne by the Japanese government.