New tunnel connecting Jammu to Srinagar: 5 things you should know
- The Banihal-Qazigund tunnel has been built at a cost of ₹2,100 crores,
- It will reduce the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 16 km.
- The tunnel has been made on Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) basis.
An all-weather 8.5 Km tunnel stretching between Banihal and Qazigund in south Kashmir is reaching its final completion stages. It will be set open for public use very soon.
Here's are the top five things to note about the new tunnel.
Links Jammu and Srinagar: The upcoming tunnel is set to facilitate connectivity between Kashmir and Jammu. It will link Banihal and Qazigund in south Kashmir. It is meant to solve the problem of road closures during harsh environmental conditions in winters due to snowfall and landslides. This tunnel bypasses the most difficult terrain on the national highway.
Reduces travel time by 1-1.5 hour: The new tunnel is situated along the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway. It will help reduce the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by around 16 km and travel time by 1-1.5 hour.
Built on BOT basis: The tunnel has been made on Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) basis. It gets a range of equipment to ensure smooth traffic flow. Some of the equipment highlights used inside the tunnel include 124 jet fans, 234 CCTV modern cameras, and a firefighting system.
The tunnel also gets two tubes with a corridor between them at a distance of every 500 meters as emergency exit points.
Cost of ₹2,100 crores: The 8.5 km long Banihal-Qazigund tunnel project demanded a cost of ₹2,100 crore. Its construction started in 2011, but the work was delayed multiple times due to several factors, including unexpected land conditions inside the tunnel.
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Sits 400 meters below Jawahar Tunnel: The new tunnel sits around 400 meters below the Jawahar Tunnel. The average elevation of the new tunnel is 1790 meters, while the height of the highway near the Jawahar Tunnel is 2,194 meters above sea level.