Excavation work of tunnel 1 of Zojila Tunnel project completed

Excavation work of tunnel 1 of Zojila Tunnel project completed
Once fully completed, the all-weather tunnel project will connect Srinagar to Ladakh -- which faces connectivity issues especially during winters. File/ GK

New Delhi: Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) on Monday said it has completed the excavation work of tunnel 1 of the Zojila Tunnel.

Once fully completed, the all-weather tunnel project will connect Srinagar to Ladakh -- which faces connectivity issues especially during winters -- cutting travel time between the two places by up to five hours. In a statement, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) said it has "achieved a breakthrough in the all-weather Zojila Tunnel construction in the Jammu & Kashmir-Ladakh region. The daylight streamed into the completing excavation of 472 meters tube 2 of tunnel 1 (of the project) on Monday".

The 448-metre tube 1 was daylighted earlier this month on the occasion of Diwali on November 4, 2021, it said.

It was awarded the Rs 4,600-crore project on October 1, 2020, in the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) mode. The excavation work of tunnel 2 is already underway, according to MEIL.

According to an official statement issued earlier, the Zojila project involves the construction of a 14.15-km-long tunnel at an altitude of about 3,000 metres under Zojila pass (currently motorable only for six months in a year) on NH-1 connecting Srinagar and Leh through Dras and Kargil.

It is one of the most dangerous stretches in the world to drive a vehicle and this project is also geo-strategically sensitive.

The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar Valley and Leh (Ladakh plateau) on NH-1, and will bring about an all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of Jammu & Kashmir (Now UTs of J&K and Ladakh), the official statement had said.

Hyderabad-based MEIL is among the major infrastructure companies in India, having a presence in about 10 countries.

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