Chenani-Nashri Tunnel Will Define J&K’s Destiny: PM Modi

This is a tunnel of development, said PM Modi

Our (Kashmir’s) true power is ‘jamooriyat’, said J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti

PM Modi inaugurated India’s longest road tunnel on Sunday

The Chenani-Nashri tunnel spans 10.89 kms and is expected to cut travel time from Jammu to Srinagar by at least two hours

Speaking at a rally in Udhampur, Prime Minister Modi said:

This tunnel is not just a physical connection between Jammu and Kashmir, but also a giant leap for Jammu and Kashmir’s development...This will be Kashmir’s Bhagyarekha (line of goodluck)

He added further:

Some misguided youngsters are pelting stones but see here, youth of Kashmir are using the same stones to build infrastructure.

On the issue of Tourism, he said:

Because of this tunnel, people from all corners of the country can travel the state safely and surely.If we had focussed on tourism in these last 40 years, then Kashmir would’ve been the worlds greatest tourist destination.

PM Modi Inaugurates the Tunnel at Chenani in Jammu (Photo: IANS)

CM Mufti thanked the PM for his personal involvement in the state’s affairs since taking charge of the country.

Mehbooba Mufti, CM , Jammu and KashmirThe previous year for J&K was very difficult, but we thank the Centre for helping the state and being there for us in time of need.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti. (Photo: PTI)

Commenting on the relationship between her family and the BJP, she said:

This is the reason, my father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed entered an alliance with you and the BJP, because we believe that you will help Kashmir get through it’s difficulties. Since 1947, we have won a lot of wars, but our true power is Jamooriyat (democracy). I hope we can help Jammu and Kashmir keep moving forward.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. (Photo: PTI)

Speaking at the inauguration of the Chenani-Nashri tunnel, Union Minister for Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the project had been completed because of PM Modi’s slogan, Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas. He further added:

By 2018, I hope that we can build a corridor between Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir which will cut down travel time between the capitals to four hours...Two ring road development projects have already been accepted in Jammu and Kashmir. In order to make this type of development a reality, infrastructure needs to be of the highest quality.

Watch PM Modi’s address:

Thousands attend PM Modi’s Rally in Udhampur. He will speak about the tunnel as well as the BJP’s plans for development in the state. He is joined on the stage by Union Ministers Jitender Singh, Nitin Gadkari and J & K CM Mehbooba Mufti.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy has reached Chenani. The PM is inaugurating the tunnel. Watch it live here:

PM Modi took a tour of the tunnel and its facilities, in an open-roof jeep, with J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti. The tunnel will cut traffic time by 2.5 hours.

PM Modi is received by J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu (Photo: Twitter/@PMOIndia)

Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari spoke ahead of the inauguration of the tunnel by the PM.

Nitin GadkariChenani-Nashri tunnel is state-of-the-art project. It’ll increase tourism and ensure supply of essential goods

Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Mansukh Mandaviya has said that the tunnel will have a positive economic impact on the state.

The Chenani-Nashri tunnel, built with new Austrian tunnel technology, has a series of smart safety features -- all functioning through a single software.

Ashutosh Chandwar, Vice President of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL &FS), told IANS in an interview.Its uniqueness is that it has an Integrated Tunnel System, under which all the systems such as Entrance Detection Control System, Electrical Fire Signalling System and Video Surveillance System and Evacuation Broadcast System, are controlled through one particular software

"The tunnel has an Incident Detection Systems under which if any accident happens, our control team will get to know before the victim contacts us through the SOS call box. Accordingly, our rescue team will help in evacuation of the person and vehicle through the safety tunnel," Chandwar added

Union Minister of State in the PMO, Jitender Singh, regarded the tunnel as a game changer in the state’s development.

The minister said:

This tunnel is going to be a game changer for revenue generation, job generation, promotion of trade, for promotion of tourism and also for ease of travel.

The minister added that irrespective of one’s caste, religion or political ideology, there should be no reason not to welcome the landmark, which he regarded as a “marvel of science.”

He was also adamant that the construction of the tunnel would be the “last nail in the coffin of the end of the separatist bluff in Kashmir”.

Built on the lower Himalayan range at height of 1,200 metres, the tunnel has been constructed at a cost of Rs 3,720 crore.

The tunnel will be the first in India to be equipped with a world-class 'integrated tunnel control system' through which ventilation, fire control, signals, communication and electrical systems will be automatically activated.

The road distance between Chenani and Nashri will now be 10.89 km, instead of the existing 41 km, the officials said.

Also Read: India’s Longest Road Tunnel to be Inaugurated by PM Modi in J&K