Ganderbal: In a significant development, authorities have successfully completed and connected a 220-metre-deep ventilation shaft to the Zojila main tunnel.
Harpal Singh, Project Head at the Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL), the EPC Contractor overseeing the construction of the Zojila Road Tunnel, informed that the completed ventilation shaft, which extends 220 metres deep from the national highway near Gumri, has been linked to the Zojila Main Tunnel, situated 220 metres below NH.
This milestone accomplishment facilitates the crew in advancing the remaining 3 kilometres of tunnel excavation from the East portal, he said.
Singh said that the construction of two more ventilation shafts, measuring 391 metres and 500 metres deep, located on the national highway, is progressing rapidly. With 7.4 kilometres of tunnel excavation already achieved from East and West portals, the remaining 5.75 kilometres are slated for completion by mid-2025, he said.
“A national dream of providing All Weather Connectivity between Srinagar and Leh is now not far away,” the Project Head of MEIL added.
The Zojila Tunnel holds strategic importance, promising to reduce travel distance and time and enhance safety for commuters.
Despite challenging weather conditions, labourers and engineers from various parts of the country, especially Jammu and Kashmir, are working tirelessly around the clock,” Executive Director of NHIDCL (National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited), Manoj Kumar, said. He hailed these “unsung heroes” for their dedication to the project. (KNO)