Sonamarg: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari will review and inspect work on Zojila and Z –Morh tunnels tomorrow. The minister is on a two-day visit to the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
During his visit tomorrow the Minister will review the progress on Tunnel 1 and Tunnel 2 at Nilgrar site.
Tunnel 1 is a twin tube tunnel of 435 metres in length each and tunnel 2 is of 1.95 km long each. These twin tunnels are the part of 18 km long approach road to Zojila west portal. The Minister will also visit the Zojila through east and west ends.
Prior to the Minister’s visit a press briefing was held at Sonamarg. Addressing the media persons Executive Director National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) Brigadier Gurjeet Singh Kambo gave the detailed information about the two tunnel projects.
Kamboo said that the Zojila tunnel project will provide all weather connectivity to Union Territory of Ladakh. He assured that work on the Zojila Tunnel is in full capacity and NHIDCL is geared up to continue the work in winter months. He stressed for putting in every effort in place to complete the project well before the schedule date.
Kamboo expressed his satisfaction on the work progress and said that the Zojila tunnel is of a significant importance to the development and tourism for both UTs of J&K and Ladakh as it will provide round the year connectivity to Ladakh region. Pertinent to mention that, once completed the Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel. Several bridges are being constructed along this route and a connecting tunnel from Z-Morh in the National Highway-1 to Zojila tunnel will be constructed in the Zojila Ghats between Sonamarg and Kargil. The entire work is divided into two divisions in the 33 km span.
The project site of Zojila tunnel is located at existing highway (NH-01) starting from Sonamarg (UT of J&K) and ending at Minimarg (UT of Ladakh) at an elevation ranging from 2700m to 3300m. The present site location falls into seismic zone IV and all precautionary measures have been provisioned to safeguard the tunnels, he added.