Jammu and Kashmir, April 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate Asia’s longest road tunnel, 9.28 kilometres long Chenani-Nashri, on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway tomorrow, making it operational for traffic. The longest bi-directional road tunnel will reduce the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two-and-a-half hours. India.com is running LIVE updates of the tunnel inauguration.
As per the reports, the tunnel took nearly 5.5 years to be fully operated for traffic. The two-lane Chenani-Nashri tunnel is Asia’s longest. It will reduce the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by approximately 250 kilometres from the current 350 kilometres. As per the reports, the all-weather tunnel will be the first in India to be equipped with world class “integrated tunnel control system”.
Located at an elevation of 1,200 meters, the Chenani-Nashri tunnel cost over Rs 2,159 crore. It has been believed that the tunnel will boost the economy of Jammu and Kashmir by giving a boost to tourism in the state. The tunnel will save fuel worth nearly Rs 99 crore a year while Rs 27 lakh worth of fuel is likely to be saved per day.
The tunnel comprises two tubes running parallel to each other. The main traffic tunnel is of 13 metre diameter, while the escape tunnel is of 6 metre diameter. As per the reports, it will also bypass 44 avalanche – and landslide-prone spots on the highway.
The tunnel was constructed by as many as 1,500 engineers, geologists, skilled workers and labourers. The tunnel is will be the first in India to be equipped with world class “integrated tunnel control system” through which ventilation, fire control, signals, communication and electrical systems will be automatically actuated. Just ahead of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to inaugurate the longest tunnel, high alert was issued.