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Trial run begins on Banihal-Qazigund tunnel

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Banihal: Authorities on Wednesday afternoon started the trial run of vehicular traffic through the 8.5 km double tube four-lane Banihal-Qazigund tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

The tunnel cutting across the Pir Panjal mountain range will reduce the travel distance by 16 km on the highway.

The work on the crucial tunnel was started in 2011 by the Andhra Pradesh based ‘Navyug Engineering Company’ after approval by the NHAI at an estimated cost of over Rs 2000 crore, as per officials.

As per the plan, around 100 vehicles were allowed from Banihal towards Qazigund, DSP Traffic National Highway, Shamsher Singh was quoted as saying by a news agency.

It quoted the chief manager of Navyug Engineering Company, Muneeb Ahmad Tak as saying that the trial run which was scheduled for an hour from 4-5 pm was later extended till 6 pm.

The tunnel is expected to be thrown open for public in the next few weeks.

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