The government has begun the construction of 14.15 km long ‘Zojila tunnel’ which will significantly reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh and also provide all-weather connectivity in the region.
On Thursday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launched the first blasting stone for the tunnel.
The Zojila tunnel will be one of the longest tunnels in Asia and will be developed on the lines of Atal tunnel. The Zojila Pass, where the tunnel is being constructed, is situated at an altitude of 11, 578 ft on the Srinagar-Drass-Kargil-Leh National Highway-1 (NH1).
The tunnel is expected to bring about an all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of Jammu & Kashmir and provide easy access for military troops into the region. It will also positively affect the tourism sector in the region and reduce travel time by an estimated 2 hrs 45 minutes.
As per information, the government is spending Rs 6,800 crore in the project. It is billed as Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel and will have proper halt facility in between, directional and informative sign boards, speed cameras, network connectivity proper lighting, well-paved tarmac and a footway tunnel running underneath.