ABB’s Technology for Asia’s Longest Road Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir

By Sharada Prahladrao

Project Success Story

Asia's longest bi-directional road tunnel was inaugurated by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on April 2, 2017.  ABB India has partnered with IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd. and Sterling & Wilson Ltd. in the development of this major Indian infrastructure project. ABB’s high power drives and motors run the ventilation system with specialized safety software, contributing to the efficient operations of this critical connectivity link. The work on the twin-tube tunnel, which is part of National Highway Authority of India's (NHAI's) 178 miles, four-lane project on the highway, started on May 23, 2011, in the lower Himalayan mountain range. The project forms part of the proposed widening of NH-44 (old NH-1A) from Jammu to Srinagar.

The Chenani-Nashri all-weather tunnel has been built at a cost of over $385 million in about five years. Built at an altitude of 3937 feet, the 7 mile tunnel would cut the travel distance between Jammu and Srinagar by about 25 miles, and is expected to save passengers over 2 hours in travel time as it will bypass snow- and landslide-prone areas on National Highway 44. It also promises fuel savings and will provide better connectivity to people in the Jammu region. This tunnel is India’s first and the world’s sixth road tunnel with a transverse ventilation system enabled by ABB drives and controlled by ABB software. For such long tunnels, ventilation systems are essential to maintain clean air, permissible carbon dioxide levels and expel harmful vehicle emissions. To ensure smooth travel and safety of commuters, ABB has designed, engineered and supplied low harmonics variable speed drive (VSD) system for tunnel ventilation. The VSDs and motors are installed at the North (Nashri) and South (Chenani) portals for air supply and exhaust. These VSDs are also equipped with inbuilt redundancy to ensure minimum downtime. 

ABB’s technology has been used for some of the world’s most complex and advanced infrastructure. ABB built a powerful ventilation system for Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, which opened to the public in December 2016. It is the world’s longest (35 miles) and deepest (8,000 feet maximum depth) train tunnel. From measuring devices in London Tower Bridge to the London Underground to the Statue of Liberty, and Burj Khalifa, ABB technologies have been a part of landmark projects around the world. 

Keywords: ABB India, Ventilation Systems, Road Tunnel, Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, ARC Advisory Group


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