The newly-formed Chenani-Nashri tunnel to give a boost to prosperity, development and employment prospects of people in Jammu and Kashmir
Deepak Zazia from Jammu
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti has reason to believe that the state-of-art 9.2 km long Chanani-Nashri tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway is going to change destiny of the people of the state because this tunnel is not only going to cut short the distance of Srinagar with rest of the country but it is also going to open new avenues for the youth of Kashmir, in particular, and the whole state, in general.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the tunnel on April 2, Chief Minister complimented people of the State and hoped that the tunnel would prove to be a harbinger of bridging the psychological barriers between the people of the State and rest of the country.
Mehbooba Mufti said youth of the State, who have gone through a tough phase of uncertainty and gloom, need to be reached out to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the present phase of difficulties and desolation. She said
people of the State expected the Prime Minister, who, exhibited unparalleled determination of taking bold decisions, to help them taking Jammu & Kashmir out of these uncertain situations and building a prosperous future for them.
Thanking the Prime Minister for all- out support to the State Government, the Chief Minister said a lot had happened in J&K due to the support of the Central Government but a lot still remains to be done. She said the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ reached out between the PDP and the BJP had received the endorsement of the people of the State and the country, who now eagerly await positive results.
This, she added, would not only bring an end to the miseries of the people here but would also strengthen their faith in the country’s democratic discourse
thereby helping them in rejecting the path of violence and acrimony.
Mehbooba said few days back a group of tour operators of Kashmir Valley met her and requested to extend an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit Kashmir so that a message of hospitality goes out to the tourists within and outside the country.
Mehbooba Mufti said the basic objective for the two parties to come together in Jammu & Kashmir was to usher in an era of massive development in the State besides taking it out of its perennial web of miseries and problems.
The 9.2 km tunnel, which is the part of the ambitious 286 km-long four-laning of Jammu-Srinagar national highway, has reduced the distance between two capital cities—Jammu and Srinagar—by around 30 km.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the nodal agency, completed the successful trial run from March 9 to March 14 this month and it was close for traffic till its formal inauguration.
Work on the tunnel was started on May 23, 2011, and its expected date of completion was May 2016, but it got delayed due to technical reasons and some “unavoidable circumstances”.
The two-lane tunnel, connecting Chenani in Udhampur district with Nashri in Ramban district, would reduce the existing road distance between the two points on the highway from 41 km to just 10.89 km.
Built with a whopping cost of Rs 3,720 crore, the tunnel will be the first in India to be equipped with world-class Integrated Tunnel Control System, through which ventilation, fire control, signals, communication, electrical
systems tolling, etc., will be automatically actuated.
It will save fuel to the tune of Rs 27 lakh per day between Chenani and Nashri. It will cost a light motor vehicle Rs 55 for one side journey, and Rs 85 for a to-and-fro journey.
The tunnel has been illuminated with around 4,000 lights installed inside the 2-lane tube. About 600 bulbs of 150 Watt have been installed in the escape tunnels while 1,200 lamps along footpaths on both sides for pedestrians besides 120 traffic signals have been installed for the lighting purpose,” official sources said. At least 124 CCTV cameras have been installed at a distance of 75 meters each to keep round-the-clock surveillance on the movement of vehicles inside the tunnel. The maximum speed limit to be followed in this tunnel is 50 kmph. Mobile network of telecom operators including Airtel, Idea and BSNL; and 92.7 FM Radio channel facility is also functional inside the tunnel. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has also
constructed a parallel escape tunne (6 m diameter) along with the main tunnel for evacuation of commuters in case of eventuality.
According to the executing agency, the tunnel will provide safe and all-weather route that will help save almost two hours’ travelling time on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.