Transport Minister reviews construction work at Zojila tunnel
Road works totalling ₹1.5 lakh crore are being undertaken in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said here.
He arrived at Sonmarg on Tuesday to review the construction work at the Zojila tunnel, which is likely to be ready by September 2026. The 13.5-km tunnel will be Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel and will allow all-weather connectivity between Ladakh and Srinagar, which is disrupted during the winter months. It is located at 11,578 feet above sea level.
“It takes 3.5 hours to travel between Srinagar and Ladakh. The tunnel will reduce the travel time to 15 minutes. I urge the concessionaires to complete the construction work by 2023, before the general elections in 2024,” Mr. Gadkari said at a press briefing. The project also includes a 17-km approach road. The tunnel and the approach road together cost ₹4,500 crore. The project has seen long delays after multiple failed bids since 2013.
The Z-Morh tunnel — being developed at Sonmarg — will provide it all-weather connectivity with Srinagar allowing it to remain open to tourists all year round. It is likely to be ready by December 2023 and is being developed at a cost of ₹2,378 crore.
The Minister also said Jammu and Kashmir will get 20 tunnels of 32 km in length and Ladakh 11 tunnels of 20 km.
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