A Look At 5 Longest Rail And Road Tunnels In India
Tunnels have a vital role to play in improving connectivity between cities. Urban streets are becoming more and more congested, thus, making tunnels a feasible infrastructure option. Plus, given the topography of our country which includes the breathtaking Himalayas, Vindhyas, Western Ghats and Satpuras, tunnels become an important feature of the road and rail network in India.
Tunnel engineering is an interesting discipline of civil engineering and requires specialised skills, in-depth risk assessment and robust safety measures. India is making rapid advancement in the construction of tunnels. Spanning a length of about 950 kilometres, many tunnel projects are in the under-construction stage and approximately 2,500 kilometres, are under various stages of planning. Here’s a look at the 5 longest rail and road tunnels in the country.
Railway tunnels in India
Pir Panjal Tunnel, Jammu and Kashmir
Length: 11.215 kilometres
Pir Panjal Tunnel, also known as the Banihal Railway Tunnel, has a length of 11.215 kilometres. Regarded as Asia’s second longest railway tunnel, it is built on the Pir Panjal Range of Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir, to the north of Banihal Town. It takes nine and a half minutes for a train to cross the tunnel.
Karbude Tunnel, Maharashtra
Length: 6.5 kilometres
A part of the Konkan railway route, Karbude Tunnel is the second longest railway tunnel in India. Positioned along the Konkan Coast near Ratnagiri, the tunnel extends up to 6.5 kilometres and falls between Ukshi and Bhoke railway stations. The surrounding area has noticed significant urbanisation due to the connectivity offered by this tunnel.
Natuwadi Tunnel, Maharashtra
Length: 4.3 kilometres
Natuwadi Tunnel is a 4.3 kilometres long underpass that are located between Karanjadi and Diwan Station. It is the second longest tunnel on the Konkan railway route. It was successfully developed in 1997, on a rocky terrain, using special imported tunnel-digging equipment.
Tike Tunnel, Maharashtra
Length: 4.07 kilometers
Tike Tunnel is a 4.07-kilometre long tunnel constructed between Ratnagiri and Nivasar, on the Sahyadri range. The views before entering the tunnel, is breath-taking.
Berdewadi Tunnel, Maharashtra
Length: 4 kilometers
Berdewadi Tunnel is located between Adavali and Vilawade and runs up to 4 kilometres. The tunnel is a part of the Konkan railway route and is encountered while travelling to Goa and Konkan regions.
Road tunnels in India
Chenani-Nashri (Patnitop) Tunnel, Jammu and Kashmir
Length: 9.2 kilometres
Connecting Chenani in Udhampur district, with Nashri in Ramban district, the Chenani-Nashri Tunnel spans 9.2 kilometres and is one the longest bi-direction road tunnels in Asia. Built on the Shivalik mountain ranges of the Himalayas and a part of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the tunnel was recently opened for traffic and has significantly reduced travel time between Srinagar and Jammu, to just two hours.
Rohtang Tunnel, Himachal Pradesh
Length: 8.8 kilometres
This tunnel is constructed at an altitude of 3878 metres under the Rohtang Pass and has a length of 8.8 kilometres. It is recognised as the World’s Highest Road Tunnel. The two-lane tunnel is presently under-construction and will be ready by 2019. It will provide all-year road connectivity, from Manali to Lahaul and Spiti Valley. This project, worth Rs. 1,700 crores, is expected to reduce the length of the Leh-Manali Highway, by about 46 kilometres.
Ghat Ki Guni Tunnel, Rajasthan
Length: 2.8 kilometres
Having a length of 2.8 kilometres, this tunnel is the only entry and exit point in Jaipur, from its eastern side. Flanked by heritage buildings on its sides, it is constructed on the Jhalana Hills, with modern lighting installed all along the route.
Aut Tunnel, Chandigarh, Punjab
Length: 2.76 kilometres
This tunnel is a part of the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway 21. Built near the Larji Dam Reservoir, Aut Tunnel covers a length of 2.76 kilometres, providing easy access to Kullu-Manali.
Jawahar Tunnel, Jammu and Kashmir
Length: 2.5 kilometres
Jawahar Tunnel or Banihal Tunnel, is a 2.5 kilometre tunnel, situated on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, linking Jammu to Kashmir Valley. Named after India’s first PM, this tunnel has been operational since 1956 and is situated between Banihal and Qazigund, on National Highway 1A. Until 2009, the tunnel was closed for civilian traffic from midnight till 8 am. It was recently made open for 24 hours.