The project involves construction of approximately 9.2 Kms long main tunnel along with parallel escape tunnel interconnected by 29 Cross Passages at 300 metres interval. The escape tunnel will exclusively be used for pedestrians.
Deputy Chief Minister of J&K Nirmal Singh along with various other dignitaries was also present on the occasion.
Gadkari said that the Central Government is committed to provide every possible assistance to the state in achieving prosperity and development. Citing the project as a path breaking success, he said, “The tunnel meets all the safety standards with state of the art facilities deployed including fire safety and control etc.”
The tunnel will provide safe and all-weather route that will result in a significant time saving to the commuters travelling along the National Highway between Jammu and Srinagar. The tunnel will also reduce distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 30 Kms.
The tunnel will ensure preservation of pristine forests in the ecological sensitive Patnitop area.
Gadkari further said that the project has already provided employment to about 2000 youth of J&K. This constitutes 94% of the total workforce that has been employed for the construction of this project from J&K.
This state-of-the-art tunnel project will also have parking spots after a specific distance to tow away or shift vehicles in case of a breakdown. The four-lane project would go a long way in creating an all-weather road to the Kashmir valley.