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PM inaugurates Asia’s second longest tunnel for rail traffic

Pir Panjal Tunnel, Asia’s second longest tunnel on the Banihal to Qazigund section of the Jammu – Srinagar – Udhampur railway line, commissioned as the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, flagged off the first train from Banihal Railway station. 
IRCON International Ltd, an autonomous constructing agency for the Indian Railways, was entrusted with the task to construct a section of the Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla rail link project from Dharam to Baramulla section. The railway line from Quazigund to Baramulla (119 km) was already completed by IRCON and it has been operational for public since October 2009. In order to accelerate the balance work, the total length between Dharam to Quazigund section was divided into 6 zones and the contract for zones – IV, VA and VB was awarded to HCC. On successful completion of these contracts, HCC was subsequently awarded a contract for construction of a 10.2 km long T48 tunnel between Dharam and Qazigund.
The tunnel has been constructed using New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) and it is for the first time in the country that this method has been used on such a large scale. Arun Karambelkar, President & Whole Time Director, HCC said, “About 1300 workers and 150 engineers worked round the clock to accomplish this challenging task. Overcoming all odds, the HCC project team sustained round-the-clock work execution across all project fronts, even in freezing winter temperatures, with a singular objective – to successfully execute this project of national importance.”


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