Qazigund-Banihal rail tunnel completed
Passes 440 Meters Below Jawahar Tunnel
Banihal, Oct 14: Piercing through the Pir Panchal mountainous range, India’s longest railway tunnel was Friday thrown open at Banihal to facilitate the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail project.
Coming up at a cost of Rs 391 crores, the 11.17-Km Qazigund-Banihal tunnel will connect Kashmir with outside world through rail and is scheduled for full operation from 2012, officials of Northern Railway told media after the project was thrown open.
“We are trying to make all the rail links including Udhampur-Katra and Qazigund-Banihal operational in December 2012. We are hopeful that the project will be completed in 2017,” Member Railway Board, AP Mishra, said.
The train would take 6.6 minutes to travel this distance from Banihal in south side to Qazigund in north side of the mountain and thus would take passenger from Jammu region in to Kashmir region just six minutes.
The project is being constructed by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC). The Pir Panchal tunnel passes approximately 440 meters below the existing Jawahar Tunnel.
The work on the tunnel was started in 2005-06 and it would take another seven to eight months before the project becomes fully operational.
The engineering work on the tunnel includes width of 8.405 meters and height of 7.393 meters with a provision of 3 meter wide concrete road inside the tunnel throughout the length for maintenance, emergency and relief purpose.
Due to the challenging geological strata of the young Himalayan rock, New Austrian Tunneling Methodology (NATM) was adopted for the tunnel construction. The engineers had to face the challenge of eight different types of geological strata discovered during its survey and to meet the challenge three excavation techniques were adopted to complete the project.
The 119-km railway line from Quazigund to Baramulla is already functional since October 2009.
Besides others, the function was attended by Managing Director IRCON, Mohan Tiwari, CAO - Northern Railway, BD Garg, Director (Works) IRCON, H Khanna, Chief Engineer Northern Railways, Achal Jain.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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