The construction of an all-weather 8.5 Km tunnel between Jammu and Kashmir's Qazigund and Banihal is completed and is opened to traffic for trial, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted.
"Under the leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi Ji, another milestone in infrastructure development of Jammu & Kashmir is fulfilled. The 8.5 km tunnel between Quazigund and Banihal has been completed and open to traffic for trial," Gadkari tweeted on Wednesday.
The tunnel will facilitate connectivity between Kashmir and Jammu and solve the problem of road closures due to snowfall and landslides in winters.
"Built at 5800 feet above sea level, the tunnel will replace Jawahar tunnel and will provide all weather connectivity. It will reduce travel time between Jammu - Srinagar by about 1.5 hours & 16 km," he added.
This tunnel bypasses the most difficult terrain on the national highway. It has been made on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. It is attached with an exhaust system to remove gas and bring in the fresh air. It has around 124 jet fans, 234 CCTV modern cameras and a firefighting system installed.
The tunnel will be beneficial to the locals ans tourists during closure of the national highway between Jammu and Kashmir in winters.
It will help in keeping intact the continuous supply of essential commodities in Kashmir valley which was oftenly disrupted due to snowfall or landslides.