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India's longest railway tunnel opens in Kashmir
Indian railways has built the longest railway tunnel in the country in Kashmir, and measures 10.96 km long. The cost of construction of the tunnel is estimated to be Rs. 391 crores, and it took around 6 years for it to be completed.

WHENEVER ONE reads a report or an article on Kashmir, we think it is always related to conflict. But, Kashmir has grabbed the headlines for a different reason this time, as a railway tunnel measuring 10.96 km long has been built by Indian railways. It has thus become the longest tunnel in the country, as it connects rest of the country with the Kashmir valley, reported IANS.

It is also said to be the second longest tunnel in Asia after Wushaoling Tunnel, which is considered to be the longest in Asia, which is around 21.05 km long. The new tunnel would be saving lots of time for people travelling from Quazigund to Banihal and vice versa. It took a long gruelling 6 years for the marvel (tunnel) to be constructed. The initiative for constructing this tunnel was undertaken by Hindustan Construction Corporation in 2005 and they have indeed done a marvellous job by building a tunnel that will hold a special place in the history of Indian railways. The people engaged in the construction had their work cut out too, as they had to face harsh conditions and work in freezing conditions, as it normally snows during winters.

The tunnel is really a huge one as it has a total width of 8.405 metres and height of 7.393 metres, where the total estimated cost for building the tunnel is said to be Rs. 391 crores. New Australian Tunneling Methodology (NATM) was the method that was adopted by Hindustan Construction Corporation due to the geographical strata of the Himalayan rock. During winters when various roads get blocked due to heavy snowfall, passengers face lots of trouble. Hope, this problem would be solved by the construction of this tunnel, which may connect to various other parts of Kashmir in the future too.

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