Modi Visit: Ground-To-Air Security Put In Place

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SRINAGAR: Amid heightened security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 9.28 km long Chenani-Nashri tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on Sunday.

Separatist leadership has called for a complete shutdown against the visit and the strike call has been supported by the militant combine ‘United Jihad Council’ (UJC).

UJC Chief Syed Salahuddin in a statement has appealed to people of Kashmir to show resentment against Modi’s visit by observing a complete shutdown across Kashmir Valley.

A police official said that all security arrangements have been put in place to facilitate the safe and smooth visit of the Prime Minister.

Chenani-Nashri tunnel, which will become Asia’s longest road tunnel, will reduce the travel distance between Jammu and Srinagar by around 30 km.

The tunnel, constructed at a height of 1,200 metres, will allow people of the valley and the Jammu city to bypass the avalanches and landslides prone stretches between Patnitop, Kud, and Batote towns. This tunnel is a part of a project to connect the two major cities Srinagar and Jammu with a 286-km-long four-lane highway. Over Rs 3,720 crore was spent on the project which was Rs 1,200 crore more than the initial estimated cost.

A police official said that an unprecedented ground-to-air security has been put in place in Udhampur and around the tunnel. The road leading to the tunnel been made out of bounds for the people while the official added that no private vehicle will be allowed to ply on the highway on Sunday till Modi departs. Surprise checking of vehicles was conducted by security men in Jammu as well as Udhampur.

The security grid has also pressed helicopters for surveillance to ensure that the PM’s visit passes off peacefully while reports said that three temporary helipads have been created to meet any emergency.

Modi, according to reports, will address a rally in Udhampur and in this regard Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh visited the town and held daylong meetings with party workers to ensure maximum participation of people in the rally.

Sources said that BJP has arranged more than 3000 vehicles to ferry workers to the venue of the rally.

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