Srinagar: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur inspected Zojila and Z-Morh tunnel projects in Sonamarg.
During his visit to Zojila Tunnel, which is envisaged to provide all-weather connectivity to the Union Territory of Ladakh, the concerned officers said that the work on Zojila Tunnel is in full capacity and NHIDCL is geared up to continue the work in the winter months.
The Minister stressed putting in every effort in place to complete the project well before the scheduled date.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister expressed his satisfaction with the work progress and said that the Zojila tunnel is of 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 the Ladakh region- Kargil and Leh.
He further 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. He said various infrastructure development projects are going on in full swing throughout J&K for the last few years to boost the socio-economic development in J&K.
Important to mention, the project site of the Zojila tunnel is located at the 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 the Z-Morh tunnel, the officials of NHIDCL informed the Minister 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 the Escape tunnel has already been achieved on September 16, 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 the safe movement of traffic, the Minister was informed that lay byes, motor, and pedestrian cross passages, firefighting niches, and SOS communication are kept for the safe movement of traffic even during emergency situations.
Expressing satisfaction over the work progress, the Minister said the Z-Morh tunnel will facilitate locals and tourists to access Sonamarg during the winter season as well and will facilitate a 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.