Banihal-Qazigund Tunnel Likely To Be Thrown Open For Traffic In March

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4-Lane Tunnel Built On Austrian Model

Qazigund: The work on the four-lane Qazigund-Banihal tunnel is going on in full swing and is expected to be thrown open this year in March.

The 8.4 km Navayuga Tunnel will connect the hilly region of Banihal directly with South Kashmir’s Qazigund area.

An official said that much to the relief of the people, this double-tube tunnel will reduce the distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 kilometers.

While divulging information about the tunnel, Muneeb Tak, Chief Manager, Navayuga Engineering Company said that the tunnel is 400 meters below the existing Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and it will reduce the travel distance between Qazigand and Banihal by 16 kms.

He said during winters Srinagar-Jammu Highway frequently witnesses closure due to inclement weather but this new tunnel will bypass Jawahar Tunnel and Shaitan Nalla which means there will be no obstruction in vehicular movement on highway even during winters.

The Chief Engineer said that work is going on smoothly and if everything remains perfect, the tunnel will be thrown open for traffic by March this year. He said this project is a masterpiece of engineering and has been constructed from Austrian Tunnelling Method (ATM).

“Modern style and a state-of-the-art “exhaust system” has been introduced in the tunnel to remove gas from it and bring fresh air into it. At Least 126 Jet fans, 234 CCTV modern cameras and fire-fighting systems are being installed in both tubes of the tunnel for which the work is underway,” Tak said.

Over Rs 2000 crore is being spent on this tunnel project. Its executing company, Navayuga Engineering Limited is Andhra Pradesh based that has pressed men and machinery into service caring for a fig for the harsh weather.

When contacted District Development Commissioner Ramban Mussarat Islam said that the work on the project was delayed due to several reasons but now everything is going smoothly. “We are expecting the inauguration of this tunnel after over a month. It will hopefully be thrown open for traffic in March this year,” he said.

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