Zojila Tunnel: The Zojila Pass is located on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway at an altitude of 11578 feet. Through this, we go further to Ladakh. Zojila pass is closed in winter. Due to its closure, the strategic area of Ladakh is completely cut off from the rest of India in winter. There has been a continuous demand to connect Ladakh with the rest of India throughout the year and now this demand is going to come true soon. On October 15, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari started it with the first blast for construction work involving the Zojila tunnel. Explosion means the breaking of something hard by an explosive. This will be the longest tunnel in Asia. It is a project worth about Rs 6800 crore. The length of the Zojila tunnel is 14.15 km while the length of the approach road is 18.63 km. Thus, this project is 32.78 km long.
Zojila Tunnel-linked timeline
- 2005 – Zojila Tunnel envisaged.
- 2013- Border Roads Organization prepared a detailed project report (DPR).
- October 2013 – Cabinet approves the project.
- May 2017 – Four private companies L&T, ILFS, Jaypee Infratech and Reliance Infra bid for the tunnel.
- July 2017 – IL&FS received the project. The company had bid for the project for Rs 4,899.42 crore and had targeted to complete it in 2,555 days (seven years).
- January 2018 – Union Cabinet approved construction of tunnel in 5 years.
- May 2018 – PM Modi laid the foundation.
- March 2019 – Bidding for Tunnel once again as IL&FS goes bankrupt.
- June 2020 – Bidding begins.
- August 2020 – Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited gets the job of building the tunnel. This contract is worth 4509.5 crores. The other two major bidders for this project were L&T and Irkan International JV.
- October 2020 – Union Minister Nitin Gadkari started the construction of the tunnel by exploding.
The speciality of Zojila tunnel
- It is 14.15 km long.
- Zojila is situated under the pass at an altitude of 3 thousand meters.
- Through this, not only the common people will benefit but also the army will benefit because then their movement from Kargil to Ladakh will be possible throughout the year.
- The journey between Srinagar to Leh will be reduced from three hours to now only 15 minutes.
- On the way from Srinagar to Leh, now the worry of snowfall will end.