Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled South Asia’s longest road tunnel which will run from Chenani to Nashri in Jammu and Kashmir. On the new tunnel, Modi said, “This tunnel is environment-friendly and this tunnel will help in the fight against global warming. The youth of Jammu & Kashmir worked very hard in the making of the Chenani – Nashri Tunnel. I congratulate them for this.” He added, “Another advantage of this tunnel is that tourists will benefit due to this. Every Indian wants to see Jammu and Kashmir. The beauty of this land can draw so many people. Tourism will also bring economic growth.”
When it comes to technology, the tunnel is one of the most advanced road tunnels built in India as the challenges of terrain and distance has been very difficult to overcome. The tunnel is at an altitude of 1,200 meters (almost 4,000 feet) and is a part of NHAI’s project between Srinagar and Jammu along the National Highway 44. The 9.2 km tunnel, which will bypass snow-and landslide -prone Kud, Patnitop and Batote on National Highway 44, marks significant road building firsts in India, including an unprecedented stress on user safety.
Modi also addressed the youth of the state saying, “Youth of Kashmir have a choice to select one of the two paths- one of tourism the other of terrorism. The path of bloodshed has not helped anyone and will never help anyone.”
The work on the 9.2 km-long twin-tube tunnel, which is part of a 286-km-long four-lane project on the highway, started on May 23, 2011, in the lower Himalayan mountain range, and cost Rs 3,720 crore.
Modi also thanked the state Chief Minister saying, “I want to especially thank Mehbooba Mufti. The Centre announced a package for the state and work has begun on the same. Whenever I come to Jammu and Kashmir, it is natural to remember the vision and work of Atal Ji. Our sole Mantra is development and the way we want to achieve that is through Jan Bhagidari. We want to involve the youth.”
Modi added, “Nitin Gadkari promised Rs 60,000 crore road infrastructure projects in the next two years. After which PM Narendra Modi during his public address that, “the state will get 9 more such tunnels in the coming years.”