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Chenani-Nashri tunnel is India's longest and safest

Chenani-Nashri tunnel is India's longest and safest

The Chenani-Nashri tunnel, touted as both India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional highway tunnel. It traverses a distance of 9.2 km connecting Chenani in Udhampur district with Nashri in Ramban district. 

As per the ministry of road transport, the tunnel is a part of a project which is aimed at four-laning the entire Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. 

Twelve other tunnels are being constructed to reduce the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar.

Significance of the project:

  • The tunnel is significant as it would reduce travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by almost 2 hours
  • It not only reduces the distance between the two cities but also prevents blockade of existing highway due to snow and landslides

Key features of the project:

  • Its uniqueness is that it has an integrated tunnel system, under which all systems are controlled through one particular software
  • It has a Transverse ventilation system, which basically means it has inlets for fresh air and outlets for exhaust. Transverse ventilation prevents suffocation and ensures acceptable levels of visibility
  • The tunnel has an escape tube in addition to the main tube that can be used at the time of distress or to tow away broken vehicles
  • Appropriate fire safety measures have been put in place
  • SOS boxes have been installed for passengers. These boxes will have a basic first-aid kit and essential medicines
  • Activities in the tunnel will be monitored through video surveillance which will help detect suspicious acts
  • The tunnel has a special drainage system to flush out water flowing in from the mountains and utilize it for various activities like firefighting and construction
  • The tunnel has specialized cameras which can count the number of vehicles in the tunnel and accordingly set speed limits

Challenges faced in executing the project:

  • Difficulty in taking the construction material inside and taking out the excavated material
  • Ensuring adequate supply of oxygen inside the tunnel for workers. Ventilation ducts and fans were introduced for this purpose
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