Udhampur: Amid high alert and multi-tiered security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Chenani-Nashri Tunnel, India’s longest road tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway today, making it operational for traffic.
Multi-tier security was put in place ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit amid alert along the border and high degree of vigilance in Jammu and Kashmir. However reports suggest that there is thin movement on the roads and shops and other business establishments in Kashmir.
The call of shutdown was supported by UJC chief Syed Salahuddin who in his statement appealed to people of Kashmir to show resentment against Modi’s visit by observing a complete shutdown across Valley.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Nashri-Chenani tunnel the longest tunnel in India on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Modi was accompanied by Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Governor N N Vohra and Minister of State for PMO and MP from Kathua-Udhampur constituency, Jitendra Singh was also present .
However restrictions have been imposed on the movement of traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway due to security concerns.
PMO Jitendra Singh said
“It is a matter of great pride for the people of J&K that this great tunnel is being dedicated to the nation by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi , It is dedicated to the nation in keeping with his call for a new India.
According to authorities, The tunnel will save fuel worth nearly Rs 99 crores a year. “Rs 27 lakh worth of fuel is likely to be saved per day,” Said the higher authorities .
The tunnel will reduce the travel time between the two state capitals of Jammu and Srinagar by two hours. The distance from Chenani and Nashri will now be 10.9 kms (between two ends of the tunnel), instead of the existing 41 kms.
PM modi said this tunnel will be a game changer for both jammu and kashmir .
He further added that ,
“The connectivity through this tunnel will decrease the time of journey by two hours. It is an alternative to the highway which is closed at the time of snow and rains. It will boost trade and increase revenue in J&K. It will also help boost tourism,” PM Modi added.
Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid has expressed satisfaction over security arrangements put in place by security agencies for Modi’s visit.
A high alert in border areas and Udhampur-Jammu belt and round the clock patrolling was intensified, adding that high degree of vigilance was put in place at vital installations including airports, railway stations and highways with continuous surveillance.
He said the Batal Ballian area and around the venue of the Prime Minister’s rally was sealed and the area was fully sanitised.
However a huge turnout of people from various parts of the state were present for PM Modi’s rally.
Security drills were carried out by police including other security wings today. Three helipads were also been sanitised and checked by security teams headed by the SPG.
Mir Suhail is a Srinagar based journalist. He can be reached at email@example.com