PM Modi inaugurates Chenani-Nashri tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar highway

Chenani Nashri Tunnel (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Apr. 2 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated India's longest tunnel Chenani-Nashri, on the Jammu-Srinagar highway amid high security.

The tunnel is expected to give sigh of relief to travellers on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, as it will reduce the travel time on National Highway 44 between Jammu and Srinagar by about 2 hours by shortening the distance between the cities by 31 km.

The Prime Minister will be dedicating the 9.2-km-long tunnel to the nation later today.

Chenani-Nashri tunnel, will bypass three major stations - Kud, Patnitop and Batote - on the highway.

The tunnel, built at the cost of Rs 2,500 crore in a record time of 5 and a half years by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd, is located at an altitude of 1,200 metres (nearly 4,000 feet) in difficult Himalayan terrain.

The estimated daily fuel savings are to the tune of Rs. 27 lakhs.

Besides avoiding large scale deforestation and tree-cutting, the tunnel will provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur, to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.

The tunnel is equipped with world-class security systems, and is expected to boost tourism and economic activities in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Key Features of the tunnel are:

• It is a single-tube bi-directional tunnel, with a 9.35 metre carriageway, and a vertical clearance of 5 metres.

• There is also a parallel escape tunnel, with "Cross Passages" connecting to the main tunnel at intervals of 300 metres.

• It also has smart features such as an Integrated Traffic Control System; Surveillance, Ventilation and Broadcast Systems; Fire Fighting System; and SOS call-boxes at every 150 metres.

Union Minister for Road And Transport Nitin Gadkari yesterday said that it is for the first time that a Prime Minister was devoting India's longest tunnel to Jammu and Kashmir and the people of India.

"It is a historical event and this tunnel is the heart of the state. It will reduce the distance between Jammu and Kashmir. Every day, fuel worth Rs. 28 lakh will be saved. Also, it will save 2 hours. This will work as an engine in the development of Jammu and Kashmir. I hope that the people of the Valley will accept it. Hurriyat should also extend its support if something this big is happening in the state," Gadkari told ANI. (ANI)