Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Rs 6,800 crore strategic Zoji La tunnel, Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel, in Jammu and Kashmir on 19 May 2018. He will also lay the foundation stones for ring road projects in Srinagar and Jammu costing nearly Rs 3,884 crore.
The 14-km long Zoji La tunnel, which will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel, will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh, as this route remains snow-bound for a large part of the year and is ravaged by frequent avalanches.
It will also cut down the time taken to cross the Zoji La pass from 3.5 hours to just 15 minutes, besides making the drive much safer and convenient. The government said the construction of this tunnel will provide much relief to the people in the region. Due to heavy snowfall and frequent avalanches, road connection to places in the Laddakh region get disrupted for long periods, preventing even essential supplies from reaching people, shutting down businesses, affecting healthcare and education.
It will have pedestrian cross passages at every 250 metre and motorable cross passages and lay-bys at every 750 metre, the statement said, adding that it will have emergency telephones and fire-fighting cabinets at every 125 metre.