New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said India's longest Chenani-Nashri tunnel that links Kashmir with Jammu will be rechristened after Bhartiya Jansangh founder Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017 had dedicated to the nation this 9.2 km long tunnel that reduces the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 31 km.
Terming the decision historic, the road transport and highways minister Gadkari said this will be a humble homage to the Jansangh founder given his battle for Kashmir's integration to the nation.
"Historic! Chenani- Nashri Tunnel on NH 44, in Jammu and Kashmir to be named after Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. This is our humble homage to Shyama Prasad Ji whose battle for Kashmir, One Nation One Flag has immensely contributed in national integration," Gadkari said in a tweet.
The decision comes over two months after abrogation of the provisions of Article 370. President Ram Nath Kovind on August 7 had declared abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution after both houses of Parliament had passed a resolution in this regard.
Modi in 2017 had inaugurated the country's longest road tunnel that links Kashmir valley with Jammu by an all-weather route. The 9.2 km long 'ChenaniNashri Tunnel' was built at the cost of Rs 2,500 crore. The tunnel, bypassing snow-bound upper reaches, reduces the journey time by two hours and provide a safe, all- weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.
The estimated value of daily fuel savings was projected at Rs 27 lakh, according to the Prime Minister's Office then. The tunnel is equipped with world-class security systems.
The key features of the tunnel are - it is a single-tube bi-directional tunnel, with a 9.35-metre carriageway, and a vertical clearance of 5 metres. There is also a parallel escape tunnel, with 'Cross Passages' connecting to the main tunnel at intervals of 300 metres.
It also has smart features such as an integrated traffic control system; surveillance, ventilation and broadcast systems; fire fighting system; and SOS call-boxes at every 150 metres.