#GS3 #Infrastructure #Development
Work on the Zojila Tunnel in J&K has begun recently. The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh (Ladakh plateau) on NH-1, and will bring about an all-round economic and socio–cultural integration of Jammu & Kashmir (Now UTs of J&K and Ladakh).
- It involves construction of a 14.15 Km long tunnel at an altitude of about 3000 m under Zojila pass (presently motorable only for 6 months in a year) on NH-1 connecting Srinagar and Leh through Dras & Kargil. It is one of the most dangerous stretch in the world to drive a vehicle & this project is also geo-strategically sensitive.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2018, had laid the foundation stone for the ₹6,800 crore project, billed as Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel, in Jammu and Kashmir.
About Zojila Pass
- Zoji La is a high mountain pass located in the Kargil district of Ladakh.
- The pass links Leh and Srinagar and provides an important link between Union Territories of Ladakh and Kashmir.
- Zojila pass remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall, cutting off Ladakh region from Kashmir.
Significance of the project
- The construction of Zojila Tunnel will provide all-weather safe connectivity between Srinagar, Dras, Kargil and Leh regions. The all-weather safe connectivity of the road is immensely important from the strategic point of view.
- The construction of Zojila Tunnel shall bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions which remains cut-off from rest of the country during winters due to heavy snowfall for about six months.
- A tunnel in Zojila is the only viable alternative at present for a full year connectivity road. This tunnel when completed will be a landmark achievement in the history of modern India.
- It will also be of great importance to the Defence of the country, in view of the fact that massive military activities along our borders in Ladakh, Gilgit and Baltistan regions are taking place.
- Zojila Tunnel project shall bring to fruition, 30 years of overwhelming public demand of Kargil, Drass and Ladakh region.
- This Project will make the travel on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Section of NH-1 free from avalanches.
- Project would enhance the safety of the travellers crossing Zojila Pass and would reduce the Travel time from more than 3 hours to 15 minutes.