The Chenani-Nashri tunnel is all set to be inaugurated on Sunday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PM shall be addresing a public rally in Udhampur’s Battal Ballian village.
As India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional highway tunnel, it traverses a distance of 9.2 km connecting Chenani in Udhampur district with Nashri in Ramban district. The Ministry of Road transport says the tunnel is a part of the 286 km long 4-laning of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
Here are 10 important facts you need to know about the tunnel:
# The Chenani-Nashri tunnel is India’s first and the world’s sixth road tunnel equipped with a transverse ventilation system, which basically means it has inlets 8 m bringing fresh air into the main tube along with exhaust outlets every 100 m opening into the escape tube.
# The tunnel comprises of two tubes which are connected by 29 cross passages at regular intervals along the entire length of the tunnel.
# Out of the two tubes, the main traffic tube has a diameter of 13 metres. The escape tunnel has a diameter of 6 m and can be used in times of distress or to tow any vehicle that has broken down.
# The tunnel would reduce travel time on National Highway 44 between Jammu and Srinagar by almost 2 hours. By bypassing Kud, Patnitop and Batote, the tunnel not only reduces the distance between the two cities by 30 km, but also averts the danger of snow and landslide blockades.
# The Chenani-Nashri tunnel, located at an altitude of nearly 4,000 feet, is built in a record time of 5 and a half years by spending Rs 3,720 crore.
# India’s first fully integrated mechanism engineering has been employed for movement of vehicles to the inflow and outflow of air, and even the evacuation of passengers or vehicles in distress.
# Longitudinal exhaust fans installed at regular intervals will concentrate on 300 m on either side of the fire, pushing the smoke upward. Firefighters and rescue workers will use the escape tunnel to evacuate and treat people.
# BSNL, Airtel and Idea have set up facilities inside the tunnel to carry signals so that there is no loss of mobile phone connectivity will not be an issue
# SOS boxes have also been installed every 150 million for passengers. The boxes will also have basic first-aid kit and essential medicines.
# A total of 124 cameras have also been installed in the tunnel. Apart from this a linear heat detection system inside the tunnel will alert the Integrated Tunnel Control Room (ITCR) located outside the tunnel if there is a need for any intervention.