13-km Zojila tunnel expected to be completed by 2026-end

01 Oct 2022

The work on the Zojila tunnel is in full swing in order to restore Jammu and Kashmir's road connectivity to Ladakh in all seasons, and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2026.

Harpal Singh, project manager for Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Constructions Limited (MIL), which is building the 13-kilometre-long Zojila Tunnel, stated “The construction of the tunnel is going on in full swing and is expected that it should be dedicated to the people at the end of 2026.”

According to him, once the final tube of the Zojila project is completed, the 32-kilometre distance between Sonmarg and Minamarg will be covered in less than 40 minutes rather than four hours. Aside from that, the all-weather connectivity will be extremely beneficial to the deployed forces and the people of Ladakh.

He added, “Though the tunnel was announced in 2005, the project was later delayed. The company that got the job went bankrupt and the work was suspended for almost two years. After which the Central government made some changes in the project and restarted the work in 2020 and awarded its tender to MIL.”

Regarding the difficulties encountered during tunnel construction, he stated that “Kashmir is very cold, the temperature is negative, despite this, and 1,000 people are working day and night on this project.”

He stated that the work on the so-called Badalto tunnel will be doubled now; currently, around 2300 people work here, the majority of who are local (Jammu and Kashmir) citizens. He said that all precautions have been taken with regard to the work completed thus far.

This project includes three tunnels: Nilgarar-1 and Nilgarar-2, each with two tunnels. All four tunnels are nearly finished. There are four pools in addition to this. All of them are nearly finished. Following that, the 13-kilometre-long Zojila tunnel will be completed. The road and tunnels on Nilgarar-1 and Nilgarar-2 are still being plastered.

The tunnel's completion will restore Jammu and Kashmir's road connectivity to Ladakh throughout the year, boosting the Ladakh economy and providing people with all essentials regardless of how much snow there is in winter.

See also:
Transport minister reviews Zojila tunnel construction work
MEIL to complete Zojila tunnel project ahead of completion deadline