Union Minister for I&B inspects Z-Morh, Zojila tunnel projects

Union Minister for I&B inspects Z-Morh, Zojila tunnel projects
The minister on a two-day visit to district Ganderbal under Union Government's Public Outreach Programme, had reached Sonamarg yesterday evening.Special arrangement

Ganderbal: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur today inspected Zojila and Z-Morh tunnel projects.

The minister on a two-day visit to district Ganderbal under Union Government's Public Outreach Programme, had reached Sonamarg yesterday evening.

During his visit to Zojila Tunnel today, which is envisaged to provide all weather connectivity to UT of Ladakh, the minister was informed that the work on the tunnel is in full capacity and NHIDCL is geared up to continue the work in winter months, an official statement said.

The Minister stressed for putting in every effort in place to complete the project well before the schedule date.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister expressed his satisfaction on the progress of the work and said that the Zojila tunnel is of a significant importance with regard to national security, development and tourism for both UTs of J&K and Ladakh as it will provide round the year connectivity to Ladakh region- Kargil and Leh.

He highlighted various important tunnel, rail and road projects of the country that were completed on priority by the Government keeping in mind border security alongside development.

The minister said that various infrastructure development projects are going on in full swing throughout J&K for last few years to boost the socio-economic development in J&K.

Important to mention, the project site of Zojila tunnel is located at existing highway (NH-01) starting from Sonamarg (UT of J&K) and ending at Minamarg (UT of Ladakh) at an elevation ranging from 2700m to 3300m, thus making the Zojila Tunnel (13.2 km) the longest tunnel at this elevation in Asia region.

The present site location falls into seismic zone IV and all precautionary measures have been provisioned to safeguard the structures provisioned in the project.

While inspecting the work progress of Z-Morh tunnel, the minister was informed that the project is being executed on DBFOT mode with an approximate cost of Rs 2378 crore.

Regarding physical progress, the Minister was informed that the breakthrough of Escape tunnel has already been achieved on 16 September, 2021 besides the work in the main tunnel which is 6412 meters long for regular bi-directional traffic is going on in full swing and its breakthrough is expected before the forthcoming winter season. While discussing the provisions for safe movement of traffic, the Minister was informed that “lay byes, motor and pedestrian cross passages, firefighting niches and SOS communication are kept for safe movement of traffic even during emergency situations”.

Expressing satisfaction over the work progress, the Minister, according to the statement, said the Z-morh tunnel will facilitate locals and tourists to access Sonamarg during the winter season as well and will facilitate socio-economic boost to the J&K in general and locals in particular. Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Krittika Jyotsna, SSP Ganderbal Nihal Borker and other officers were present on the occasion.

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