Sonamarg, Nov 5: The construction work on the prestigious and vital Zojila tunnel is progressing well at a good pace amid the unfavorable weather conditions.
Authorities in the Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) construction company responsible for the construction of Zojila tunnel said that the work is going on in full swing despite the challenging conditions including the terrain and weather.
" We are working hard to complete the tunnel before its deadline and for this everyone including the company management and employees be it a worker, driver or engineer are putting efforts in it" Burhaan Andrabi, senior engineer with MEIL told Greater Kashmir.
Executive Director NHIDCL, Gurjeet Kambo said that on Thursday another milestone was been achieved with the breakthrough, where both ends of the tunnel meet, in one of the tunnels at Nilgrath Sonamarg, which is seen as the first step towards the progress on the Zojila tunnel completion.
" Tunnel Hole-Through also called BreakThrough where both ends of the tunnel meet was achieved at Nilgrar Tunnel-1 of the high altitude strategic ZojiLa Tunnel-1(Nilgrar) in Jammu & Kashmir on the auspicious day of Dewali Making the Survey work a reality the workers reached the break-through point taking all precautions and completed the most crucial task in the tunneling process. The event marked another milestone in the making of Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel" Kambo said.
Pertinently, 14.5 Km long Zojila tunnel, once completed, will be India’s longest road tunnel, and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel. Several bridges are being constructed along this route, and work is being done at a brisk pace.
Once the tunnel is completed, travel between Srinagar and Ladakh throughout the year will become a reality. While the distance will be reduced (from Baltal to Minamarg) from the present 40 kms to 13 kms, travel time too will be reduced by 1.5 hours between the two Union Territories. The journey will be less strenuous as the roads will be evenly paved. The project will lead to the integrated development of both the J&K and Ladakh regions at maximum speed.