Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the country’s longest road tunnel that links Kashmir Valley with Jammu by an all-weather route and reduces the distance by 31 kms.
The 9-km long ‘Chenani-Nashri Tunnel’, built at the cost of Rs 2,500 crore, was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister in Chenani in presence of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
After the inauguration, Modi, along with Vohra and Mehbooba, travelled in an open jeep through the tunnel for some distance.
The Prime Minister, the Governor and the Chief Minister then posed for a photograph with the engineers who were involved in construction of the tunnel.
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The tunnel, bypassing snow-bound upper reaches, will reduce the journey time by two hours and provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.
The estimated value of daily fuel savings will be to the tune of Rs 27 lakh, according to the PMO.
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.
The key features of the tunnel are that 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.