Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public rally in Udhampur district on April 2 after dedicating to the nation ‘Nashri Tunnel’, India’s longest road-tunnel, built on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
“A massive public rally will be addressed by the Prime Minister at Udhampur on April 2,” BJP MLA and the party’s state unit chief Sat Sharma told reporters on Thursday.
He said the party has finalised the venue and also made provisions of public convenience and transportation for taking the public to the rally ground.
“The BJP has planned to organise a massive public rally to celebrate the historic moment of the inauguration of the tunnel,” Sharma said.
The ‘Nashri Tunnel’ in Chenani, falling in the Udhampur district, will lessen the travel time between the two state capitals — Jammu and Srinagar — by two-and-a-half hours and prove to be of great importance to the state, he said.
The work on the 9.2 km twin-tube tunnel, which is part of a 286-km-long four-laning project on the highway, started in May 2011 in lower Himalayan range, and it cost Rs 3,720 crore.
Located at an elevation of 1,200 meters, the tunnel will be the first in the country to be equipped with world-class “integrated tunnel control system” through which ventilation, fire control, signals, communication and electrical systems will be actuated automatically.
The road distance from Chenani and Nashri will now be 10.9 km, instead of the existing 41 km.
The tunnel project will be handed over to National Highway Authority of India by IL&FS soon after the inauguration.
“The formal trial run was successfully completed for peak, off-peak hours between March 9 and March 15,” Project Director, IL&FS, J S Rathore said.
Once the tunnel becomes operational, it will reduce traffic jams on National Highway-1 A that occur due to snowfall and avalanches in winter at Patnitop, he said.