India is set to have Asia's longest bi-directional tunnel in a few years in the form of Zojila tunnel. The two-lane highway is expected to be a game-changer for road connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir.
This will be a 14.5-kilometer long tunnel that will provide connectivity from Baltal in Sonmarg to Minamarg in Ladakh. This has been built at a height of over 11,500 feet.
The tunnel will have three vertical shafts. There will be catch dams, soil walls, air blasts in order to protect this tunnel against avalanches.
This will not only be a huge boost for the local economy but also for the defence forces as the Z-Morh tunnel, which will provide connectivity from Srinagar to Sonmarg and then there is a 18.5 km-long access road, which will connect Z-Morh to Zojila and this tunnel will connect Sonmarg to Ladakh.
So, the entire region will get all weather connectivity between Srinagar and Ladakh and thereby helping the local economy and defence forces in supply of goods and services throughout the year.
Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd has been awarded this project in October 2020 and they are conducting this project on an EPC mode. The expected timeline for completion of this project is September 2026 but the Road Minister has asked the company to prepone the project and complete it by December 2023.
One will have to wait and see whether this project gets completed by 2023 but definitely a huge boost for the economy.
Watch the accompanying video of CNBC-TV18's Anu Sharma for a status check from Kashmir.