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Finally, Chenani-Nashri tunnel ready, PMO to finalise date of Inauguration

With the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) conveying to the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the completion of the country’s longest Chenani-Nashri road tunnel, it is expected to be inaugurated after March 7.
The exact date will be finalised after the PMO communicates the availability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration ceremony.
Earlier, the PMO had sought clearance from the NHAI regarding the opening of the much-awaited 9.2-km tunnel. “The NHAI conveyed to the PMO that the tunnel was all set to be inaugurated as all work had been completed,” said sources.
Now, the NHAI is waiting for the communication from the PMO to finalise the date of inauguration so that requisite preparations can be made. So far there has been no message to any security establishment about the visit of the PM. However, the NHAI has asked them to be prepared as after the campaigning for UP elections is over, the PM will visit the state to inaugurate the tunnel.
“It is expected that any time after March 7, the PM will visit the state and inaugurate the prestigious Chenan-Nashri tunnel. The PMO will be communicating with the NHAI, security agencies and state government in this regard in coming days,” the sources added.
The project will connect the Chenani (south end) area of Udhampur district with the Nashri (north end) area in Ramban district and will reduce the length of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway by 31 kms. The tunnel will by-pass the hilly terrain of Patnitop and will make the vehicular movement easy. The highway is lifeline for the Kashmir valley, Ladakh and several districts of the Jammu region on which more than 15,000 vehicles ply daily.