Nitin Gadkari to Witness Opening of Indiaâ€™s Longest Road Tunnel in Udhampur
The Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari will be visiting Udhampur in Jammu & Kashmir tomorrow to witness the opening of India’s longest road tunnel that will cut the Jammu to Srinagar distance by 30 kms and reduce traffic jams on National Highway-1A that occur due to snowfall and avalanche in winter at Patnitop. Shri Gadkari will be present at the final blast ceremony when the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) engineers will drill a hole through the final section of the tunnel between Chenani and Nashri.
The state-of-the-art tunnel is simultaneously being built from the two ends and the NHAI teams will meet at the centre by drilling a hole through the final section. The 9.2 km tunnel, which is part of the ambitious 286 km-long four-laning of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, will reduce the distance between two cities â€” Jammu and Srinagar â€” by around 30 km. The road is likely to be opened to traffic in July next year. Work on the tunnel was started on May 23, 2011. The tunnel, connecting Chenani in Udhampur with Nashri in Ramban district, is being completed at a cost of over Rs 2500 crore. It will also reduce the existing road distance between two points on the highway from 41 km to 10.89 km.
The NHAI is also constructing a parallel escape tunnel along with the main tunnel for evacuation of commuters in case of eventuality. The two tubes of the tunnel will be internally connected through 29 â€œcross-passagesâ€ (each after a gap of 300 meters) and the escape tunnel will exclusively be used for pedestrians. There is a provision for ventilation keeping in view the distance of the tunnel.
This state-of-the-art tunnel project will also have parking spots after a specific distance to tow away or shift vehicles in case of a breakdown. The four-lane project would go a long way in creating an all-weather road to the Kashmir valley.