PM Modi to inaugurate Banihal-Qazigund all-weather tunnel on April 24: Here is what you need to know about it

The premier is also expected to announce several developmental schemes.
A view of Banihal Qazigund four lane tuunel (Banihal side) on Saturday evening.
A view of Banihal Qazigund four lane tuunel (Banihal side) on Saturday evening.Special arrangement

Srinagar, APR 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Jammu and Kashmir for a two-day visit on Sunday, April 24, his first tour to the UT after the abrogation of Article-370 in August 2019.

In addition to his major rally scheduled in Palli village, Modi will be inaugurating Banihal-Qazigund tunnel. The premier is also expected to announce several developmental schemes.

Built at a cost of over ₹3100 crore, the Banihal-Qazigund tunnel situated 74-kms from Srinagar features state-of-the-art twin tubes, exhaust system and several other features to make it an ‘all-weather’ tunnel.

The 8.5 kilometre long tunnel reduces the distance between Qazigund and Banihal province by 16 kilometres, reducing the travel time by 1.5 hours.

Built at 5800 feet above sea-level, it will replace Jawahar Tunnel as the main tube penetrating the mountains of Pir Panjal.

This will bypass Jawahar Tunnel and the infamous Shaitan Nalla, both of which turn nightmare during winters for travellers along the highway as heavy snow often leads to blockade of the strategic highway, only all-weather route connecting Kashmir to the rest of the county.

Elevated at 1,790 metres, it is 400 metres lower than the Jawahar Tunnel’s elevation, making it less prone to avalanches.

To prevent gas formation inside the tunnel, it is constructed with the Australian tunneling method - latest exhaust system consisting of 126 jet fans.

A corridor is built between the two tubes after every 500 metres to meet any exigencies.

Also as per reports, the tunnel will have 234 CCTV cameras and a firefighting system installed in both the tubes.

The tunnel was thrown open on trial basis in August 2021. Unfortunately, two major accidents were reported to have taken place inside it.

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