Leh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated work for Zojila tunnel, Asia’s longest and strategic bi-directional tunnel, to provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. The prime minister is on a day’s visit to all the three regions of Leh, Kashmir and Jammu of Jammu and Kashmir.
The tunnel will be cutting down the time taken to cross the Zojila pass from three and a half hours presently to just 15 minutes.
Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National highway and remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall cutting off Ladakh region from Kashmir through roads.
The project aims at the construction of 14.15 kilometre long two lanes bi-directional single tube tunnel.
At the ceremony here, Modi said projects worth Rs 25,000 crore would either be initiated or inaugurated today in all three regions and it showed the commitment of the central and the state governments towards the speedy development of the state.
The prime minister will also lay the foundation stones for ring road projects in Srinagar and Jammu costing nearly Rs 3,884 crore. The 42.1 Km, 4 lane Srinagar Ring Road will link Galandar in West Srinagar to Sumbal. Being built at a cost of Rs 1,860 crore, this road will provide a new route from Srinagar to Kargil and Leh, and reduce travel time, and there will be a major bridge, three flyovers, 23 tunnels and 2 viaducts on this route.
The 58.25 km, 4-lane Jammu Ring Road, being built at a cost of Rs 2,023.87 crore, will link Jagati (western Jammu) to Raya Morh. There will be 8 large bridges, 6 flyovers, 2 tunnels and 4 viaducts on this route.