New Delhi, October 14
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday will initiate the first blasting for construction-related work at the 14.15-km Zojila tunnel that will provide all-year connectivity between the Kashmir valley and Leh, the government said.
The project holds strategic significance as the Zojila Pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh national highway and remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall. At present it is one of the most dangerous stretches in the world to drive a vehicle and this project is also geo-strategically sensitive.
The Ministry of Road Transport, Highways said Gadkari would initiate the first blasting for the Zojila tunnel in J&K on Thursday.
“The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between the Srinagar valley and Leh on NH-1, and will bring about an all-round economic and socio–cultural integration of J&K,” it said in a statement.
It involves construction of a 14.15-km-long tunnel at an altitude of about 3,000 m under the Zojila pass (presently motorable only for six months in a year) on NH-1 connecting Srinagar and Leh through Drass and Kargil.
“This tunnel when completed will be a landmark achievement in the history of modern India. It will also be of great importance to the Defence of the country, in view of the fact that massive military activities along our borders in Ladakh, Gilgit and Baltistan regions are taking place,” the statement said. — PTI
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