J&K : Construction Work Of Zoji-La Tunnel, Strategically Important For India Will Start In A Month

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Srinagar : Asia’s longest Zoji-La road tunnel’s construction work is going to start in a month. Union Territory Ladakh, which surrounds China and Pakistan, will remain connected to Jammu and Kashmir throughout the year with the embarkation of this ambitious project of the National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL).

Hyderabad-based Megha Constructions Company, which won the tender for construction of 14.150 km long tunnel, has completed the formalities before starting the work. 
The project is divided into two phases, the first phase of which will be completed in two and a half years and the second in 6.5 years. The tender process for construction of the Zoji-La Pass Tunnel at an altitude of 11578 feet above sea level was carried out in July 2020.

Megha Constructions had a lower bid than Larsen & Toubro and Ircon. The tender was released in August. At the same time, the site campus of NHIDCL has also been prepared for Zoji-La tunnel construction. A senior corporation official said that technical preparations have been completed. Work on the Zoji-La project will begin in a month.

Ladakh shares its borders with China on LAC from one side and with Pakistan on LOC on a distance. Road connectivity gets affected for six months or more due to the high mountain plots. 
The Rohtang Tunnel on the Leh-Manali route and the Zoji-La Tunnel on the Leh-Srinagar National Highway will help keep Ladakh connected with the Road Highway for twelve months. 
The road from the Zoji-La Pass, one of the most difficult roads in the world, currently takes three and a half hours’ journey. It takes 10 to 12 hours to reach Kargil from Srinagar during snowfall. With the completion of Zoji-La Tunnel, this distance will be covered in fifteen minutes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for Zoji-La tunnel construction in May 2018, but IS&FS left the project due to rising costs. In the new proposal, the estimated cost of the tunnel was 8 thousand crores, which has been redesigned and reduced to half. Now, the work has been given to Megha Constructions is 4429.83 crores.

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