Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Rs 6,809 crore Zojila tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh.
Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel. The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil, and Leh. It will cut down the time taken to cross the Zojila pass from the present three and half hours to just 15 minutes.
Its construction period will be seven years because of a very difficult terrain where in some areas temperature dips to minus 45 degree celsius. The tunnel shall be an engineering marvel as first of its kind in such a geographical area.
The tunnel will reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh drastically. It also aims to provide safe, fast and cheap connectivity.
The civil construction cost of the project is Rs 4,899.42 crore. The total capital cost of the project is Rs 6,808.69 crore.
The project aims at the construction of 14.15 km long two-lane bi-directional single tube tunnel with a parallel 14.2 km long egress tunnel excluding approaches between Baltal and Minamarg in the state.
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRT&H) through the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).