Ganderbal: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in the presence of Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha and Members of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Road Transport and Highways inspected the Geo-strategically important Z-Morh Tunnel on Srinagar-Leh Highway (NH-1) on Monday.
19 tunnels are being constructed in Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs 25 thousand crore. Under this, construction work of 6.5 km length Z-morh tunnel and approach road is in progress at a cost of Rs 2680 crore. This 2-lane road tunnel is being built under the mountain glacier Thajiwas Glacier between Gagangir and Sonamarg in Ganderbal district of Kashmir.
Under the Z-Morh tunnel project, a main tunnel of total length of 10.8 meters with a modified horse shoe shape escape tunnel of total length of 7.5 meters, D-shaped ventilation tunnel of total length of 8.3 meters, 2 major culverts of total length of 110 meters and 270 meters, 1 small culvert of total length of 30 meters is proposed. Till now 75% work of Z-Morh Tunnel has been completed. A target has been set to dedicate this tunnel by December 2023.
Intelligent Traffic Management System has been installed in Z-Morh Tunnel which will make it easier to control traffic. Along with this, traffic will be facilitated through the dedicated escape tunnel. The Z-Morh tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity to the Sonamarg tourist town. The debris generated during the construction work of this project has been used for way-side facilities and development of the area.
The area of Z-Morh tunnel is strategically important as its construction will ensure seamless connectivity between Srinagar and Kargil and there will also be considerable reduction in travel time between Srinagar and Leh. This tunnel will promote social and economic development in the entire region. Tourism in Sonamarg will be promoted including activities like whitewater rafting on Thajiwas Glacier and Sindh River.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari also inspected Zojila Tunnel ,Asia’s longest tunnel to establish all weather connectivity for Ladakh and an important project implemented in Jammu and Kashmir with the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha and members of Parliament of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Road Transport and Highways.
19 tunnels are being constructed in Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs 25000 crore. Under this, the construction of 13.14 km long tunnel and approach road at a cost of Rs 6800 crore is in progress in Zojila. It is a 7.57 m high horseshoe-shaped single-tube, 2-lane tunnel, which will pass under the Zojila Pass in the Himalayas between Ganderbal in Kashmir and Drass town in Kargil district of Ladakh.
The project includes a Smart Tunnel (SCADA) system, which has been constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling Method. It is equipped with facilities like CCTV, radio control, uninterrupted power supply, ventilation. The use of modern technology in this project has saved the Government of India more than 5000 crore rupees.
Under the Zojila Tunnel project, the main Zojila tunnel of 13,153 meters with 4 culverts of total length of 810 meters, 4 Nilgrar tunnels of total length of 4,821 meters, 8 cut and covers of total length of 2,350 meters and three 500 meters, 391 meters and 220 meters of vertical ventilation shaft are proposed. So far 28% work of Zojila Tunnel has been completed.
With the construction of this tunnel, there will be all-weather connectivity for Ladakh. Curently the average travel time to cross the Zojila Pass sometimes takes three hours, after the completion of this tunnel the travel time will come down to 20 minutes. The reduction in travel time will ultimately result in fuel savings.
The terrain near Zojila Pass is extremely inhospitable, with many fatal accidents taking place here every year. After the completion of Zojila Tunnel, the chances of accidents will be zero. This tunnel will provide year-round connectivity between the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, which will be extremely important for the development of Ladakh, promotion of tourism, free movement of local goods and movement of Indian armed forces in case of emergency.