Ganderbal: The work on the much-awaited Zojila tunnel is in full swing, with officials saying that almost 6 out of 13.154 kilometres have been completed so far.
The tunnel is envisaged to provide all-weather connectivity to Ladakh. National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has paced up the work to ensure the timely completion of the tunnel, the officials said.
Burhan Andrabi, Senior Manager of NHISDCL told KNO that out of the total 13.154 kilometre-long tunnel; six kilometres of excavation has been completed. Besides, two bridges sub-structure has also been completed and the work on the third bridge is going on, he added.
The work on the tunnel was started in 2021. The highway will have two twin-tube tunnels, 4 bridges, and 2 snow galleries and a 2.3 km cut and cover structure.
The distance from Baltal to Minamarg will come down to 13 km from the present 40 km; the travel time is expected to be cut by an hour and a half, and the journey is expected to be less strenuous. The project is expected to lead to the integrated development of both the union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Adil Ahmad, a labourer from Ganderbal working on the project, told KNO that despite many hurdles, they toiled hard. “Many times, the work got suspended, but we courageously proceeded along notwithstanding the cold harsh climate,” he said.
Another labourer, Aijaz Ahmad, said the facilities being provided to them are good. “We are hopeful that our hard work will yield good results,” he said.
The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Ladakh and Kashmir, which is otherwise hampered during winters as the Zojila pass is covered in snow and avalanches. (KNO)