With an objective to deliver all-weather connectivity to the Leh-Ladakh region, the Indian Government is all set to begin the work on Rs 10,050 crore Zojila pass tunnel project. It tops the category of big National Highway Projects in terms of project cost with a tunnel length spanning a length of 14.08 km and approach road of 10.8 km with three vertical ventilation shafts, a snow gallery of 700 m and avalanche protection measures.
Situated at an altitude of 11,578 ft on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway, Zojila pass, remains shut during winters from the month of December to April due to heavy snowfall and avalanches, cutting Leh-Ladakh region from Kashmir. Reportedly, Vijay Chhibber, who recently, retired as the Road Transport and Highways Secretary, emphasised on the importance of the project for the nation as a whole. Although it is a single bid, it is at a reasonable cost, and on completion, will benefit the people of Leh-Ladakh region who remain cut off from the rest of the world during winters.
IRB Infrastructure has bagged the order to build this project, and the tunnel project is a part of the Rs 80,000 crore development project for Jammu and Kashmir that was announced in November last year. And, already been delayed on account of rebidding, once constructed, the Zojila pass tunnel is slated to be the longest road tunnel in South East Asia.