Srinagar: The wait for five years finally came to an end and the Banihal-Qazigund tunnel is ready for vehicular movement. Testing work is underway on this tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar highway to complete the commissioning process. The tunnel will also prove to be a game-changer for the Union Territory's economy.
In fact, the construction of the tunnel, built at a cost of Rs 2,100 crore, will reduce the road distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 25 km. The time taken between the two cities now will take one and a half hours less after the tunnel is operational. The length of Jammu-Srinagar highway is 270 km. Talking to media, company officials related to the construction of the tunnel said that the 8.5 km long tunnel will become operational in the next few weeks. It has taken five years for this tunnel to be completed. One end of the tunnel opens in Qazigund and the other in Banihal. This will also save time and money for locals in commuting.
There is a possibility that PM Modi may inaugurate the tunnel next month. Talking to media, truck driver Riaz Ahmed, who regularly uses the Jammu-Srinagar highway, said driving will become easier and safer after the tunnel is operational. Until now, this part had to go through straight climbing and winding paths. Most roads are blocked due to slippery roads in winter, but now such difficulties will be reduced after the new tunnel is constructed.