Updated: April 2, 2017 6:00:33 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Chenani-Nashri tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the longest in India. The prime minister dedicated the tunnel to the nation. The 10.9-km long tunnel will reduce the time taken to travel between Jammu and Srinagar by shortening the distance between Chenani-Nashri from the existing 41 kms to 10.9 kms and is likely to save fuel worth nearly Rs 99 crores a year. The tunnel in Udhampur district, built with new Austrian tunnel technology, has a series of smart safety features — all functioning through a single software.
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The Prime Minister, the Governor and the Chief Minister then posed for a photograph with the engineers who were involved in construction of the tunnel. After the inauguration ceremony, the prime minister is scheduled to address a public rally in Udhampur’s Battal Ballian village.
The tunnel is equipped with world-class security systems, and is expected to boost tourism and economic activities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The estimated value of daily fuel savings will be to the tune of Rs 27 lakh, according to the PMO.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh had earlier said that the tunnel “is a game changer.” “The connectivity through this tunnel will decrease the time of journey by two hours. It is an alternative all weather route. It is an alternative to the highway which is closed at the time of snow and rains. It will boost trade and increase revenue in the state. It will also help boost tourism,” Singh had told PTI.
Read Also: 10 facts about India’s longest tunnel
Meanwhile, normal life was affected in Kashmir Valley due to strike called by separatist groups against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state for inauguration of Chenani-Nashri tunnel. Most of the shops, business establishments and fuel stations were shut in Srinagar – the summer capital of the state, officials said. The officials said most of the public transport was off the roads, while private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying normally in many areas of the city here.
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