PM to inaugurate India's longest road tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar highway today

Udhampur (J&K): Amid high alert and multi-tiered security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation India's longest road tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Sunday, making it operational for traffic.

Multi-tier security setup has been put in place ahead of the Prime Minister's visit amid alert sounded along the border and high degree of vigilance at vital installation in J&K.

"It is a matter of great pride for the people of Jammu and Kashmir that this great tunnel is being dedicated to the nation by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi – the most popular PM. It is dedicated to the nation in keeping with his call for a new India," Union Minister of State in PMO, Jitendra Singh told reporters.

Modi will also address a public rally at Battal Ballian in Udhampur district after inaugurating the tunnel.

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," Singh said.

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.

Union Minister said that this tunnel is a game changer. "It is a revolution itself. It is a revolution to be watched and studied. It is a case study itself. It is a wonderful creation," he added.

"The connectivity through this tunnel will decrease the time of journey by two hours. It is an alternative all weather route. 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 the state. It will also help boost tourism," Singh added.

The security setup includes elaborate deployments, area domination, checkpoints and alertness in border areas and vigilance at vital installations in the region by various security agencies, a police officer said.

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 has been intensified, he said adding that high degree of vigilance has been 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 area has been fully sanitised.

BJP is expecting a huge turnout of people from various parts of the state for Modi's rally.

Security drills were carried out by police and other security wings today. Three helipads have also be sanitised and checked by security teams headed by the SPG.

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