J&K Infrastructural Overhaul: Tunnel Network Driving Connectivity and Development

4 August, 2023 | Srishti Ruchandani

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Recently completed 8.45-kilometers twin-tube Qazigund-Banihal tunnel project marks a significant milestone in improving connectivity between the Qazigund and Banihal areas of the Union Territory.

In a major development after the abrogation of Article 370, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir has been making significant strides in boosting connectivity by completing and initiating various tunnel projects.
These ambitious initiatives aim to enhance transportation and facilitate travel even during challenging weather conditions, further integrating the region with the rest of the country.
The recently completed 8.45-kilometers twin-tube Qazigund-Banihal tunnel project marks a significant milestone in improving connectivity between the Qazigund and Banihal areas of the Union Territory.
With two separate tubes, this tunnel will enhance the movement of vehicles and ensure smoother traffic flow, particularly during harsh weather conditions and heavy snowfall.
Work is currently underway on four tunnels on the Akhnoor-Poonch section of national highway 144A. These tunnels are expected to contribute significantly to better connectivity and shorten travel time between Akhnoor and Poonch. Once completed, they will offer a safer and more efficient passage for commuters and transport services along this important route.
In a bid to further improve accessibility to the region, a 10.30 kilometers tunnel under Sinthan Pass on NH-244 is being allotted. This ambitious project will provide a crucial link between Singapore and Vailoo, enhancing connectivity during challenging weather conditions and facilitating smoother travel for residents and visitors alike.
The Sudhmahadev-Dranga Tunnels I and II on NH-244, spanning 8 kilometers, are expected to play an instrumental role in improving connectivity between Sudhmahadev and Dranga regions, promoting economic growth in the area.
The administration is also diligently working on the 4.38 kilometers of twin-tube tunnels from Morag to Digdole and the 3.2-kilometer tunnel in Khooni Nallah. These 4-lane twin-tube tunnels are expected to significantly ease traffic congestion and enhance road safety in the region once completed.
Construction work has commenced on two 2.15 kilometers tunnels on the Jammu ring road, as part of the broader effort to develop the region’s infrastructure and provide a well-connected and efficient road network.
A significant boost to connectivity is also expected from the ongoing progress on the 1.574-kilometers Khildani bypass tunnel on NH-244, which will further enhance accessibility and promote tourism and economic growth in the region.
The combined cost of these extensive tunnel projects amounts to 3117 crores, signifying the administration’s commitment to modernizing and upgrading the region’s infrastructure, laying the foundation for a well-connected and prosperous future.
Among the notable tunnel projects is the 6.50 kilometres Z-Morh tunnel on the Srinagar-Sonamarg road, expected to be completed by December 2023. With an estimated cost of 2378 crore, this tunnel will provide a vital all-weather route for travellers, particularly during harsh winter conditions. The improved accessibility will undoubtedly boost tourism and commerce in the scenic Sonamarg area.
As the region looks towards the future with renewed optimism, these tunnel projects are set to reshape connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir, opening new avenues for economic growth, tourism, and development.

An official from the administration stated, “These endeavours play a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless and well-connected Union Territory, fostering a brighter and more promising future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” The administration’s commitment to infrastructure development is paving the way for progress and prosperity in the region