Work in progress on longest tunnel of rail network in J-K

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Banihal (Jammu and Kashmir), July 12 (ANI): Construction of the longest tunnel in the Indian Railways network is proceeding at a rapid pace in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of several topographical odds.

Considered as an engineering marvel, the tunnel is expected to be completed by 2012 and would connect the valley to other parts of the country.

The tunnel is being constructed with the most advanced technology, known as New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM), and would pass through the mountain range of Pir Panjal.

"The mining of the tunnel running from Qazigund to Banihal will be completed in 2010. And after that we will take one and a half year more to complete its finishing and other things," said R K Gupta, Divisional Railway Manager of Firozpur Division of Northern Railway.

"We will try that the work on the tunnel is complete and rail is operational for traffic by the end of 2011," he added.

The construction of the 11 kilometers long stretch had begun in 2006 and working against numerous odds, such as difficult terrain and unpredictable weather, engineers and other specialised technicians of Railways hope to complete the work on time.

Besides the most advanced ventilation and drainage systems, the tunnel will also have a service road alongside the railway track for emergency and routine maintenance purposes. (ANI)

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