Jammu and Kashmir is all set to create history by becoming the first state in the country to construct the longest tunnel in the Southeast.
The tunnel will be built at an altitude of 3,500 meters.
Mumbai-based IRB Infrastructure has bagged Rs 10,050 crore Zojilla tunnel project on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway in Jammu and Kashmir. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have sent a Letter of Award (LOA) for the construction, operation and maintenance of this tunnel. The project involves construction of tunnel spanning a length of 14.08 km having an approach road of 10.8 Km with three vertical ventilation shafts, snow gallery of 700 meters and avalanche protection measures.
After the completion, the tunnel will become the longest in the Southeast Asia.
The estimated cost of this project is Rs 10,050 crore.
The funding will be made from Rs 80,000 crore Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan for Jammu and Kashmir announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently in Srinagar.
The scope of the project includes construction of approaches on NH-1 (Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri Road) on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (annuity) basis, the statement said. Haji Anayat Ali, chairman J&K Legislative Assembly, said that the dream project of people of Kargil has came true under the leadership of Narendra Modi and chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Zojila is the second tunnel on Srinagar-Kargil stretch to be built on the national highway to ensure round the year connectivity between the valley and the cold desert of Ladakh.
Work is currently in progress on Z-Morh tunnel, 20 kms away from Zojilla pass, on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway.
The 434 km long Srinagar-Leh highway passes through the most unstable and avalanche prone areas. From 80 kilometer near Sonamarg to 114 kilometer in Minimarg, there are 109 avalanche prone spots.
Particularly the area ahead of Gagangir in Sonamarg to Minimarg ahead of Zojila remains snowbound during winters.
Virendra Mhaiskar, company director said that this project is the biggest national highway project awarded in India.
According to the director the project has strategic and socio–economic importance as it will provide the much needed all-weather connectivity between Kashmir valley and Ladakh. The Srinagar –Leh highway remains cut-0ff during winter due to heavy snowfall and thus this project will play an important role in the connectivity of two regions.