New Delhi: Touted to be India’s longest tunnel, the Chenani-Nashri tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.
The tunnel will be crucial for the people in and around the state since it is likely to save fuel worth nearly Rs 99 crores a year. It will also reduce the time taken to travel between Jammu and Srinagar by shortening the distance between Chenani-Nashri from the existing 41 kms to 10.9 kms. Union Minister Jitendra Singh had earlier said that the tunnel “is a game changer.”
“The connectivity through this tunnel will decrease the time of journey by two hours. It is an alternative all weather route. It is an alternative to the highway which is closed at the time of snow and rains. It will boost trade and increase revenue in the state. It will also help boost tourism,” Singh said.
The Minister of State in PMO added that it was a matter of pride for the people of the state that the prime minister himself was inaugurating the tunnel. “It is a matter of great pride for the people of Jammu and Kashmir that this great tunnel is being dedicated to the nation by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi – the most popular PM. It is dedicated to the nation in keeping with his call for a new India,” he said.
After the inauguration ceremony, PM Modi is scheduled to address a public rally in Udhampur’s Battal Ballian village. An elaborate security system has been put in place ahead of his visit including extensive deployments, area domination, checkpoints and alertness in border areas and vigilance at vital installations in Jammu and Kashmir by various security agencies.
State Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid said patrolling had been intensified around the Udhampur-Jammu belt along with adding that the Batal Ballian area has been sealed and “fully sanitised.”