Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel

Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel is a road tunnel in  Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located in the Lower Himalayas (Inner Himalayas), on National Highway 44. Its Construction started in 2011 and was completed in 2021 after many delays.

Qazigund Road Tunnel
Qazigund - Banihal road tunnel.png
Left side tube of tunnel from North portal of Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel
Overview
LocationJammu and Kashmir, India India
StatusActive
RouteC2 NH 44
StartQazigund
EndBanihal
Operation
Work begun2011
Opened4 August 2021
OwnerNational Highways Authority of India
OperatorNational Highways Authority of India
TrafficAutomotive
CharacterAll Types of Vehicles
TollQazigund Toll Plaza
Technical
Length8.45 km (27,700 ft)
No. of lanes2 Lanes per Tube
(4 Lanes total in Twin-Tube with Dual carriageway)
Operating speed40 km/h (25 mph)
Highest elevation1,790 m (5,870 ft)
Width7 metres (23 ft)

It is one of the longest tunnel in India, with a length of 8.45 km (5.25 mi) The tunnel reduces the distance between Srinagar and Jammu by 16 km.[1] It also reduces travel time from 2-3 hours to 15 minutes.[2]

It is a Twin tube tunnel consisting of two parallel tunnels - one for each direction of travel. Each tunnel is 7 m (23 ft) wide and has two lanes of road. The two tunnels are interconnected by a passage every 500 m (1,600 ft) for maintenance and emergency evacuation. The tunnel will have forced ventilation for extracting smoke and stale air and infusing fresh air. It will have state of the art monitoring and control systems for security. Built at a cost of Rs. 2,100 crore, it is expected that vehicles will have to pay a toll to use the tunnel.[3]

TimelineEdit

Construction of this tunnel started in 2011 along with the project to widen NH 44 (which was known as NH 1A before all the national highways were renumbered in the year 2010) to four lanes. The existing road tunnel below the Banihal pass (Jawahar tunnel), has been a bottleneck on the road due to its elevation of 2,194 m (7,198 ft) and limited traffic capacity. The new tunnel's average elevation at 1,790 m is 400 m lower than the existing Jawahar tunnel's elevation, which would make it less prone to avalanches. When completed, the tunnel would reduce the road distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 km (10 mile).

  • As of May 2016, 7.2 km of the 8.5 km had been excavated.[4]
  • As of February 2017, the tunnel excavation was close to completion.[5]
  • February 2018: Boring work of one tunnel had been completed. [6]
  • May 2018: Boring of the entire 8.5 km tunnel was completed on 20 May 2018.[7]
  • Jan 2019:Tunnel may open for traffic by March 2020. [8]
  • November 2019: Work progressing at slow pace; tunnel to be opened for traffic in March 2021. [9]
  • 25 February 2021:Tunnel likely to thrown open for traffic in April 2021[10]
  • 5 April 2021: opening delayed until end of April 2021.[11]
  • Jun 2021: Tunnel is almost ready, could be made operations in few weeks.
  • July 2021: Tunnel could be inaugurated on the independence day by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.[12]
  • August 2021: Tunnel was opened by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.[13]

LocationEdit

The Southern portal (end) of the tunnel is at 33°29′22″N 75°10′22″E / 33.4895°N 75.1729°E / 33.4895; 75.1729 and the Northern portal (end) of the tunnel is at 33°33′53″N 75°11′12″E / 33.5646°N 75.1867°E / 33.5646; 75.1867.

Safety measuresEdit

The tunnel is made on Build–operate–transfer basis. It is built with an exhaust system to remove gas and bring in fresh air. It has 126 jet fans, 234 CCTV cameras and a firefighting system installed.[14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "All-weather tunnel linking Jammu and Srinagar to open soon. All you must know" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  2. ^ "J-K: 8.5 Km Qazigund-Banihal tunnel in final stage of construction, to open soon". ANI News. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  3. ^ "NHAI in race to get crucial J&K tunnel ready ahead of avalanches". The Hindu. PTI. 20 May 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 8 August 2021.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "Tunnels of Hope in Valley, Governance Now". Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Tunnel openings". Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Tube 1 of Banihal-Qazigund four-lane tunnel completed | Greater Kashmir".
  7. ^ "Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel opening likely next year: NHAI - Kashmir Times". www.kashmirtimes.in.
  8. ^ "CONCERN: 8 years on, work on Qazigund-Banihal tunnel far from over | Greater Kashmir".
  9. ^ Excelsior, Daily (24 November 2019). "Qazigund-Banihal tunnel to miss 5th deadline".
  10. ^ "'Qazigund-Banihal tunnel being thrown open in March'".
  11. ^ "Opening of Qazigund-Banihal tunnel delayed from March end to April end". Kashmir Reader. Archived from the original on 22 April 2021. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  12. ^ "8.5 km all-weather Qazigund-Banihal hi-tech tunnel likely to be operational in coming weeks".
  13. ^ "Auto News India, Car and Bikes News, Launch, Price, Features, Reviews". Hindustan Times Auto News. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  14. ^ "8.5 km all-weather Qazi Gund-Banihal tunnel to open for public in days".