An all-weather tunnel is being built in the south of Kashmir which is going to be operational by the end of this month. This is is a tunnel on the 270 km Jammu-Srinagar national highway. It will reduce traffic by 16 km and also cut time drastically. Here is all you need to know about this all-weather tunnel
What is this All-weather tunnel?
This all-weather tunnel is an 8.5 km long tunnel that connects Banihal to Qazigund. The total cost to build this tunnel is Rs 2,100 crore. It has taken more than 10 years to complete this project as the work was delayed because of weather and political reason. There were a few unexpected land conditions inside the tunnel too. Current the Tunnel is testing for traffic and its accommodation for ventilation and electric system.
It is a twin-tube tunnel with corridors at every 500 metres for emergency exit. It has 126 Jet fans and 234 CCTV cameras. There is fire fighting equipment that makes sure that there is enough preventive equipment for any type of disaster.
Why is it important?
As a result of this tunnel, it will bypass the Jawahar Tunnel and Shaitan Nala which are on the current route. These places have a lot of traffic which are due to bad weather. The traffic burden on the infrastructure is massive which makes this all-weather tunnel kind of an important one. The heavy snowfall in winters makes the highway for snowstorms and avalanches. This new tunnel will act as a bypass and connect Srinagar to Banihal.
This new tunnel has been constructed 400 metres below the height of the Jawahar Tunnel. For reference, the height of the highway near the Jawahar Tunnel is 2,194 metre. This is the only all-weather road that connects Kashmir to the rest of the country and goes through the Banihal pass.