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Jammu KashmirNot all vehicles will be allowed through Chenani-Nashri Tunnel

Not all vehicles will be allowed through Chenani-Nashri Tunnel

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Not all vehicles will be allowed through Chenani-Nashri Tunnel

 

Rs. 2500 Cr project cost spilled over to Rs. 3720 Cr

 

Tawi, April 02: After long wait and overcoming many controversies, the Chenani-Nashri tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar road (NH1A), finally got inaugurated today by the Prime Minister, Mr. Narinder Modi.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today thrown the 9 kilometer long double lane tunnel open for traffic in the presence of the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti and other union and state ministers.

The tunnel with the initial project cost of Rs. 2500 crores and completed at cost spill over at Rs 3, 720 crore in over six years, will only provide passage to a limited type of vehicles.

The tunnel will be run and maintained by the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd for initial 15 years shall be subjected to usage charges from the vehicles.

It will cost a light motor vehicle Rs 55 for one side journey and Rs 85 for a to and fro journey as the Highway Authority of (NHAI), the nodal agency in the execution of work, has set up toll points at both the ends. For a month's travel, the motorists will have to shell out Rs 1,870.

The vehicles such as small buses will have pay Rs 90 for one-way and Rs 135 for to and fro.

Buses and trucks will be charged Rs 190 for a single journey and Rs 285 for return. The collection of toll from road users will start from Monday morning.
Though it will reduce the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by almost 30 km, it will be bypassing important tourist spots Kud, Patnitop and Batote.
As per the officials, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has listed the type of vehicles that won't be allowed to use the tunnel.
The vehicles ferrying any kind of material like livestock and fodder cannot use the tunnel. The vehicles carrying livestock like sheep and chicken, LPG, fuel ( Petrol and Diesel) won't pass through the tunnel as it is prone to such mishaps and unhygienic conditions.
NHAI has also specified vehicles carrying inflammable material such as petrol and LPG, spirit and certain chemicals not to use the tunnel. Further, the two-wheelers also fall in the banned category, as the tunnel has no provision for overtaking and the two wheeler drivers will be inhaling substantial pollutant discharge by the vehicles in the tunnel.

According to the authorities, the two wheelers can create safety issues for themselves as well as for the others. Further the tunnel automatically measures the level of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, so its concentration increases the ventilation process will be enhanced.
Further, the heavy vehicles plying on Jammu-Srinagar highway over a specified loaded height and vehicles over 4.5 meter breadth shall not be allowed to pass through the tunnel.
As this tunnel is bi-directional, both the lanes occupy equal halves of the road. Any vehicle that has the breadth of above 4.5 meters won't be allowed to pass through the tunnel,.
The tunnel is equipped with hi-tech Electronic Surveillance System to monitor.
A total of 124 cameras and a linear heat detection system inside the tunnel will alert the Integrated Tunnel Control Room (ITCR) located outside the tunnel to the need for intervention.
Besides, Emergency Boxes (SOS boxes) are installed at every 150 meters, with the authorities saying that they will act as emergency hotlines for commuters in distress.

The SOS boxes are also equipped with first-aid facility and essential medicines.
The tunnel comprises two parallel tubes— the main traffic tunnel of 13-m diameter and a separate safety or escape tunnel of 6-m diameter.
Tunnel is subjected to twenty Do's and Don'ts each to be observed by the user which may take some time to acclimatize the drivers using the tunnel.

The two tubes — each approximately 9 km in length— are connected by 29 cross passages provided at regular intervals along the entire length of the tunnel.

 

The nine- Km tunnel which is a part of ambitious 286 km four-laning of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was started in 2010 and was scheduled to be opened in July 2016. Tunnel missed many deadlines and faced severe industrial relation controversies like lack of safety measures and denial of minimum wages to the workers engaged in the construction of the tunnel.

 

Many trade union leaders and opposition leaders had, invariably accused the management of the companies entrusted with the construction works for non-implementation of labour laws & Minimum Wages Act, non-payment of the salaries, wages in lieu of overtime, safeguard equipment, engagement of local labourers, non-adherence of labour laws by the companies, grant of casual, earned and medical leave.

The workers at Chenani-Nashir tunnel were not paid even minimum wages, not covered under social benefits like Employees Provident Fund Act, not being paid their allowances for overtime and there was no sufficient safety mechanism available to them.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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