New tunnel opens in troubled Indian Kashmir to ease travel

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Apart from it, the tunnel will save fuel worth almost Rs 99 crores a year.

According to him, the Chenani-Nashri tunnel will help in fuel savings worth Rs 27 lakh every day. The road tunnel is India's longest and will reduce driving time between Jammu and Srinagar by two hours.

Located on one of the most hard Himalayan terrains, between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu & Kashmir, the Chenani-Nashri highway tunnel has been built at an elevation of 1200 metres.

Chenani-Nashri tunnel, will bypass three major stations - Kud, Patnitop and Batote - on the highway.

The tunnel is aimed to provide relief to travellers on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the Minister added.

The total length of the tunnel constructions will be 22 km and will reduce the length of 293 km between Jammu to Srinagar by 62 km. She said people of the State expect Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who she said exhibits the unparalleled determination of taking bold decisions, to help them in taking Jammu & Kashmir out of these uncertain situations and build a prosperous future for them.

Sawhney said that no doubt the project is of great significance to the people of entire State but it is the gift of UPA Government led by Dr. Manmohan Singh to the State.

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"I want to assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the Prime Minister's focus and vision is to make India a vibrant and a strong country", he said, adding, "The Prime Minister wants to build best infrastructure in the country which will be no less than any other country". The tunnel has an efficient, transverse ventilation system.

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He said decades of insurgency had caused bloodshed and hit tourism, a mainstay of the region.

Among the features the state of art tunnel are a fully integrated tunnel control system that will control ventilation, communication, power supply and incident detection.

He again invoked former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's slogan of 'Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat (Kashmirism, democracy and humanity)' and said this "prime motto" will be used for taking the state to new heights of development and "no obstacle can stop us".

He termed Chenani-Nashri tunnel as state-of-the-art project. "If there had been greater focus on developing tourism and infrastructure, then people from all over the world would have been streaming to the Kashmir valley", PM Modi said.

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