India’s longest surface tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district is complete. It will be open to traffic soon, following successful completion of trial runs for peak and off-peak hours. The 9-km-long tunnel at Chenani passes through the lower Himalayan mountain range on Jammu- Srinagar National Highway.
Cheneni-Nashiri Road Tunnel was started in May 2011. It took nearly six years for completion of the project at a cost of over Rs. 3,720 crore. The 9-km-long twin-tube tunnel located at an elevation of 1,200 metres. It is an important part of a 286-km-long four-lane project on the highway.
It is India’s first tunnel equipped with world class integrated tunnel control system through which ventilation, signals, fire control, communication and electrical systems are automatically actuated. It reduces travel distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 30 kilometres and save time by three to four hours.
The road distance from Chenani and Nashri will now be 10.9 km, instead of present 41 km. The tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to the Valley and avoid landslide-prone stretch. It will help to boost the trade and commerce and tourism in the valley.