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Nitin Gadkari to preside over final blasting of India’s longest tunnel on Monday

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Source: http://www.thehindu.com
Source: http://www.thehindu.com

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS): India’s longest road tunnel — under the Pirpanjal range in Jammu and Kashmir, will on Monday see its final blasting ceremony in the presence of union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, an official statement here said.

The ceremony will take place when engineers of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will blast a hole through the final section of the tunnel between Chenani and Nashri, near Patni Top.

“The road is likely to be opened to traffic in July next year. Work on the tunnel was started on May 23, 2011. The tunnel, connecting Chenani in Udhampur with Nashri in Ramban district, is being completed at a cost of over Rs.2,500 crore” the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The 9.2 km tunnel, a part of the ambitious 286 km four-laning of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, will not only reduce the distance between the two cities of Jammu and Srinagar by around 30 km, it will also provide an all-weather road between the two capitals of the northern Indian state, the statement said.

After the tunnel road is opened, travelers will no longer suffer traffic snarls on National Highway-1A following rock-falls, landslides, and heavy snowfall, to which this road section is susceptible.

“The state-of-the-art tunnel is simultaneously being built from the two ends and the NHAI teams will meet at the centre by drilling a hole through the final section,” it added.

The NHAI is also constructing a parallel escape tunnel along with the main tunnel for evacuation of commuters in any eventuality.

“The two tubes of the tunnel will be internally connected through 29 “cross-passages”, each after a gap of 300 meters, and the escape tunnel will exclusively be used for pedestrians. There is a provision for ventilation keeping in view the length of the tunnel,” the statement said.

The project will also have parking bays at specific distances to enable towing away or shifting of vehicles in the case of vehicular breakdown.

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Irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion India is one: Vice President

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu propagated the idea of oneness among the fellow Indians

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M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India.
M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India. Wikimedia Commons
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that we should be proud of being Indian and there is a requirement to stop thinking along the lines of caste, creed, sex and religion.
Naidu, who was here for the platinum jubilee celebrations of R. A. Podar College of Commerce and Economics, also said that problems in the country arise only when people create divisions.
“We should all think in an integral manner and feel that we are all one. Irrespective of caste, creed, sex and religion India is one. We should be proud of being a Bhartiya (Indian) and there should be no problem in it,” he said.

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