Srinagar, Apr 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the country’s longest road tunnel, Chenani-Nashri, built on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway. The tunnel will reduce the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two-and-a-half hours, approximately 30 km. The all-weather tunnel has been built at a cost of over Rs 2,500 crore in about five years.
Located at an elevation of 1200 meters, the new tunnel will be the first in India to be equipped with world class “integrated tunnel control system”.
Special features of the tunnel:
- Entrance Detection Control System
- Integrated traffic control system
- Electronic Surveillance System
- Active Firefighting System
- Tunnel Ventilation System
- Evacuative Broadcast System
Reportedly, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) is expected to handover the tunnel project to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) soon after its formal inauguration by PM Modi. “The formal trial run was successfully completed for peak, off peak hours between March 9 and March 15,” Project Director, IL&FS, J S Rathore was quoted by News18 as saying.
Meanwhile, MoS PMO J Singh spoke to ANI about the Chenani-Nashri tunnel and termed the project as a game changer. “If someone doesn’t welcome it they aren’t working for people’s interest,” he added further.
Some facts about the project
– The length of the tunnel is 9.28 km, approximately 15 km lesser than the world’s longest tunnel (24.5 km) which is in Norway
– This tunnel will reduce the travel distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 30.11 km. Travel time will be lessened by 2 hours
– The use of this tunnel will approximately save Rs 27 lakh worth fuel daily
– Initially, the cost of the construction was estimated to be Rs 1,200 crore less than the original cost of Rs 3,720 crore
– The construction of the tunnel was started on May 23, 2011
– Main tunnel is 13 metre in diameter. Parallel escape tunnel has 6 metre diameter which are connected by 29 cross passages at 300-metre interval
– The 9.2 km-long twin-tube tunnel is part of a 286-km-long four-lane project on the highway
– This tunnel will reduce the road distance between Chenani and Nashri to 10.9 km, instead of the existing 41 km.
– To cross this tunnel, buses and trucks will have to pay Rs 190 as one side toll and Rs 285 as two-side toll.
– LMV Vehicle will have to pay Rs 55 on one side and Rs 85 for to-and-fro journey while travelling through this tunnel whereas, bigger vehicles like mini buses will have pay Rs 90 as one side toll and Rs 135 for to-and-fro toll.
The inauguration of the tunnel will reduced the traffic jams on National Highway- 1A which is usually blocked due to snowfall and avalanches in winter at Patnitop.