Umaisar Gull Ganie
Qazigund, Oct 26 :
In a landmark development, the iconic Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is set to undergo a significant renovation, transforming it into a key tourist destination, officials said.
Named after India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the Jawahar Tunnel holds historical significance. It was constructed between 1954 and 1956 and has been operational since December 22, 1956.
An official from the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that a multi-crore tender has been floated as part of the pioneering Beacon project to revamp and upgrade the 2.85-kilometre-long tunnel.
“Our focus is on enhancing security, safety, surveillance, and upgrading mobility infrastructure within the tunnel,” the official said, adding, “Our goal is to augment the tunnel’s visual appeal, presenting it as an attractive tourist spot.”
The renovation initiative comes in light of the recent inauguration of the Banihal-Qazigund Nayvug tunnel, which restricts the passage of fuel-laden tankers, trucks carrying gas cylinders, and other explosive materials. These vehicles, along with local traffic from nearby villages, still rely on the Jawahar Tunnel for their transportation needs.
The official said that a new company is soon expected to take charge of the renovation and repair process. The authorities aim to enhance safety measures, implement advanced surveillance systems, and improve overall mobility within the tunnel, he said.
The previous major renovation of the Jawahar Tunnel took place in 1997. However, the advent of the Nayvug tunnel and the evolving tourism landscape have necessitated modernisation efforts, focusing not only on safety and infrastructure but also on transforming the tunnel into an appealing destination for tourists—(KNO)