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Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel: Distance, connecting places, benefits - all you need to know

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Apr 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. It is located in the Lower Himalayas, on National Highway 44.

Distance and Cost
The construction works of the project started in 2011 and were completed in 2021. It is one of the longest tunnels in India, with a length of 8.45 km (5.25 mi).

Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel: Inauguration Date, Route Map, Distance, Connecting Places, Benefits - Everything You Need To Know
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It is built at a cost of over Rs 3,100 crore. The 8.45 Km long tunnel would reduce the road distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 km, and reduce journey time by around one and a half hour.

It is a twin-tube tunnel - one for each direction of travel - with the twin tubes being interconnected by a cross passage every 500m, for maintenance and emergency evacuation.

Benefits of Banihal Qazigund Tunnel
The tunnel reduces the distance between Srinagar and Jammu by 16 km. The tunnel would help establish an all-weather connection between Jammu and Kashmir, and bring the two regions closer. It will help in keeping intact the continuous supply of essential commodities in Kashmir valley which was often disrupted due to snowfall or landslides.

Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel: Distance, connecting places, benefits - all you need to know

The tunnel will facilitate connectivity between Kashmir and Jammu and solve the problem of road closures due to snowfall and landslides in winters.

"One major problem was when one has to take any patient to a hospital during winters. It used to take a lot of time. From 2-3 hours, the travel time has reduced to about 15 minutes in this tunnel. From Banihal, patients are referred to Kashmir. There have been a lot of deaths in the region due to unsuitable weather. Even pregnant women faced difficulties because of connectivity problems in Banihal," a resident of Banihal, Asif Hussain, had told ANI earlier.

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.

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