MUMBAI: India’s longest highway tunnel at Chenani Nashri, between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu & Kashmir is all set to be inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi on April 2.
The 10.89 km tunnel that has absorbed a sum of Rs 2519 crore in its construction, forms part of the proposed widening of National Highway 44 (old NH-1A) from Jammu to Srinagar will be inaugurated at 3 pm.
The tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in India boasting of features like Integrated Traffic Control System (ITCS), Video Surveillance System and FM Rebroadcast System, among others and will reduce travel time by approximately two hours, apart from promising fuel savings to the tune of 27 lakh per day.
“The tunnel has multiple economic gains as connectivity in the remote area can help transform the life of this neglected region in the hills. The credit goes to previous planners for having mooted this tunnel,” S P Singh, senior fellow at the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT).
However, Singh added that the delay in the time for construction and the subsequent cost escalation could have been avoided.
The project has been dubbed as a “state of the art engineering marvel in the most difficult terrain pf Himalayas”.