New Delhi [India], Mar. 31 : Calling for support of Hurriyat on the inauguration of India's longest tunnel at Chenani-Nashri, between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister for Roads and Transport Nitin Gadkari on Friday said it is a historical event, confident that the residents will surely accept it.
Gadkari further said that it is for the first time that a Prime Minister was devoting India's longest 9-km tunnel to Jammu and Kashmir and the people of India.
"It is a historical event and this tunnel is the heart of the state. It will reduce the distance between Jammu and Kashmir. Every day, fuel worth Rs. 28 lakh will be saved. Also, it will save 2 hours. This will work as an engine in the development of Jammu and Kashmir. I hope that the people of the Valley will accept it. Hurriyat should also extend its support if something this big is happening in the state," Gadkari told ANI.
Jammu and Kashmir's Hurriyat leaders have called for strike against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 2, who will be visiting the Valley to inaugurate the longest highway tunnel, Chenani-Nashri tunnel.
The tunnel on NH-44 which connects Jammu with Srinagar, will reduce travel time between the two cities by up to two hours.
It achieves a distance-reduction of 31 kilometres, bypassing snow-bound upper reaches. The estimated daily fuel savings are to the tune of Rs. 27 lakhs. Besides avoiding large scale deforestation and tree-cutting, the tunnel will provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur, to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.
The tunnel is equipped with world-class security systems, and is expected to boost tourism and economic activities in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.