The trial run of heavy motor vehicles, through the double-tube, four-lane Qazigund-Banihal tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, was conducted successfully on Tuesday.

The Navyug Engineering Company, which is the executing agency for the tunnel, conducted the trial for heavy motor vehicles for over an hour.

The 8.5-km long tunnel, built at the cost of Rs 2,100 crore, will reduce the distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 km from the present 35 km, and will bypass the Jawahar Tunnel and Shaitani Nalla, which is prone to heavy snowfall and slippery conditions during winters.

Sources said work on the project started in June 2011 and the tunnel was scheduled to be thrown open for traffic in March this year, but, some work on it remained incomplete.

The official added that the tunnel is now ready for inauguration and it will be thrown open shortly.

–IANS

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