All About Zojila Tunnel: The Longest Road Tunnel In India | Kashmir to Ladakh | SR LATEST NEWS

All About Zojila Tunnel: The Longest Road Tunnel In India | Kashmir to Ladakh | SR LATEST NEWS

The 14.15-km Zojila tunnel, the government’s flagship infrastructure project in the rocky Himalayan range in Kashmir and Ladakh is the longest road tunnel in India. The same tunnel is also labelled as the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. Developed by Hyderabad-based company, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL), the Zojila tunnel is equipped with smart tunnel safety measures and is set to provide all-weather accessibility between Leh and Srinagar through Dras and Kargil on the NH1. The project is slated to be completed by 2025. Know all about this India’s longest road tunnel in detail below on SURFACES REPORTER (SR):

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The project-Zojila Tunnel- broke ground on October 15, 2020, with the approval of Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways. The government is currently developing 31 tunnels with an estimated cost of around Rs 1.4 lakh crores. Out of these, 20 tunnels, covering 32 kilometres, are built in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh, while the remaining 11 tunnels, covering 20 kilometres, are in Ladakh. 

A connecting tunnel will be built from Z-Morh on NH1 to the Zojila tunnel. The construction of this longest tunnel is sectioned into two parts on the entire length of 33 km. 

The Zojila tunnel, 14.15 km in length, would be the longest road tunnel in India and the largest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. From Z-Morh on NH1 to the Zojila tunnel, a connecting tunnel will be built. The construction work is divided into two sections on the entire span of 33 kilometres. Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir are both likely to see integrated development as a result of the project.

Other Vital Features of the Project:

  • Zojila tunnel is being developed as a smart tunnel (SCADA system) based on the New Austrian tunnelling method.
  • The project is well-equipped with high-tech safety features, such as CCTV monitoring, a fully transverse ventilation system, emergency lighting, uninterrupted power supply, traffic logging equipment, a tunnel radio system and variable message signs.
  • The estimated cost of the entire project would be around 10, 643 crores of rupees
  • This is the first-of-its-kind tunnel project in the challenging topography of the rocky Himalayas.
  • With a height of 1,578 ft, the project is said to be the highest tunnel
  • The project is designed in a way where there is a provision for pedestrian cross passages at every 250 meters
  • Further, the tunnel also contains emergency telephones and fire fighting equipment at every 135 meters
  • It also has lay-bys and motorable cross passages at every 750 meters.
  • Once the final tube of the Zojila tunnel gets completed, the 32 km- distance from Sonamarg to Minamarg will be reduced to 40 minutes from four hours.

Almost the halfway mark of the Zojila tunnel excavation work has been successfully completed, accomplishing a major milestone. The last phase of the Zojila tunnel construction works is projected to be finished in September 2025, ahead of its deadline of November 2026. Officials stated that the armed forces movement on the tunnel could be allowed in September 2024. 

Image Credits: The Economic Times

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