Srinagar: In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the maiden 24 hour trial run of vehicular traffic through the double tube four-lane Banihal-Qazigund tunnel along Jammu-Srinagar national highway was conducted successfully.
The 8.5 km tunnel, built at a cost of Rs. 21,00 crore in 10 years, is going through testing and commissioning process and is likely to become operational this month.
Banihal-Qazigund tunnel will reduce the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 16 kms and it has been made on Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) basis. The upcoming tunnel is set to facilitate connectivity between Kashmir and Jammu and will link Banihal in Jammu with Qazigund in Kashmir.
This tunnel bypasses the most difficult terrain on the national highway and it is fitted with range of equipment used inside to ensure smooth traffic flow that included 124 jet fans, 234 CCTV modern cameras, and a firefighting system.
The average elevation of the tunnel is 1790 meters, while the height of the highway near the Jawahar Tunnel is 2,194 meters above the sea level.