Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2 April 2017 inaugurated Chenani-Nashri tunnel, India’s longest highway tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. This 9 km long twin-tube tunnel is an ideal example of the government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiative.
PM Modi also announced to invest around Rs 7000 crore in highways projects in Jammu and Kashmir in the next two years. A ring road will be built around Jammu at a cost of Rs 2100 crore and another one around Srinagar at a cost of Rs 2200 crore.
Moreover, Zojila tunnel is also under construction between Leh and Ladakh at a cost of Rs 6000 crore.
Highlights of the India’s longest Chenani-Nashri tunnel
• This 9 km long all-weather tunnel between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu & Kashmir is not only India’s longest highways tunnel but also Asia’s longest bi-directional highways tunnel.
• Built at an elevation of 1200 metres on one of the most difficult Himalayan terrains, the tunnel will cut the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two hours, bypassing about 41 kms of road length.
• It will also ensure an all weather passage on a route that often sees heavy traffic jams and disruptions due to landslides, snow, sharp curves, breakdown of vehicles and accidents.
• The structure of the tunnel consists of a 9 km long two-laned main tunnel with a parallel escape tunnel of same length. The two tunnels are connected by 29 cross passages at regular intervals.
• These cross passages can be used for evacuation of vehicles and commuters in case of breakdown or any other emergency.
• There are two minor bridges on the south and north sides and 4-lane approach roads with Toll Plazas on both ends of the tunnel.
• The Traffic Control System in the tunnel has green and red lights, the speed limit signs and others to control traffic condition inside the tunnel.
• The tunnel has an Incident Detection Systems under which if any accident happens, the control team will get to know before the victim contacts through the SOS call box.
• The maximum height permitted in the tunnel is 5 meters and for checking the height, special sensors have been installed just before the toll points at both ends.
• The tunnel is a part of the 286 km long four-laning of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
• The tunnel has an efficient ventilation system. There are inlets bringing fresh air at 8 metre intervals and outlet for exhaust every 100 metres.
Patnitop Tunnel, India’s longest road tunnel, set to open in 2016
The Chenani-Nashri tunnel is an environment-friendly project. The construction of the tunnel avoided large-scale deforestation. Moreover, it will save much time on the Jammu- Srinagar route that will further result in fuel saving of approximately Rs 27 lakhs per day.
The Chenani-Nashri tunnel will also have a very positive impact on the state economy. The project provided employment to over 2000 unskilled and skilled youth of Jammu and Kashmir as 94 per cent of the work force was from the state itself.
Where: Jammu & Kashmir
When: 2 April 2017