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Current Affairs

Zojila tunnel

Date: 30 September 2021 Tags: Infrastructure

Issue

Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari inspected a portion of Zojila tunnel to assess the progress in its construction.

 

Background

The union government is aiming to use the tunnel as its flagship project in Kashmir and Ladakh, planning to open it before 2024 Republic day.

 

Details

  • The Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel. It spans close to a distance of 14.15 km.

  • In the Zojila Ghats between Sonmarg and Kargil, a connecting tunnel will be built. It will link Z-Morh on NH1 to the Zojila tunnel. The entire span is divided into two phases.

 

Phases in construction

  • The 18.475-km highway between Z-Morh to Zojila will be developed and expanded in the first phase. The highway will contain 2 twin-tube tunnels, 5 bridges, and 2 snow galleries.

  • The second part is constructing the 14.15-km Zojila tunnel having 2 lanes, in shape of a horseshoe. The project also includes control buildings, construction of portals, ventilation buildings and muck disposables along the route.

  • The tunnel will be built with European Standards. This includes automatic lighting and emergency lighting facilities, emergency telephone, message signaling and radio inside the Zojila tunnel.

 

Advantages

  • Travelling between Srinagar and Ladakh throughout the year is possible once the construction of the tunnel is complete.

  • Distance between Baltal and Minamarg will come down to 13 km from the present 40 km. The time will be cut by 1.5 hrs and will be less stressful.

  • The project has the potential to develop both Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as a popular tourist attraction along with providing facilities to the citizens.

  • The tunnel can become a critical asset for the armed forces for moving faster between Ladakh and Kashmir without worrying about adverse weather conditions.