- The Zojila Tunnel, the longest tunnel in Asia, has been inaugurated in Jammu and Kashmir to establish all-weather connectivity to Ladakh.
- The project includes the construction of 19 tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs 25,000 crore.
- The ongoing project at Zojila involves the building of a 13.14 km tunnel and approach road, which is estimated to cost Rs 6,800 crore.
- The Smart Tunnel (SCADA) system, constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling Method, includes facilities like CCTV, radio control, uninterrupted power supply, and ventilation.
- The Government of India has saved Rs 5,000 crore by implementing modern technology into the project.
Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, recently announced that the Zojila Tunnel, which is an important infrastructure project in Jammu and Kashmir, has been inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and the Parliamentary Committee on Road Transport and Highways. The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity to Ladakh and is the longest tunnel in Asia. Members of the Consultative Committee inspected the tunnel in the presence of MPs.
The Jammu and Kashmir government is constructing 19 tunnels at a cost of Rs 25,000 crore. Among these, a 13.14 km long tunnel and approach road are being built at Zojila at a cost of Rs 6800 crThe Zojila Tunnel is a tunnel with a single tube that is 7.57 meters high and shaped like a horseshoe.
It has two lanes and will pass under the Zojila pass in the Himalayas between Ganderbal in Kashmir and Drass City in the Kargil district of Ladakh. The Smart Tunnel system (SCADA) is included in the project constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling Method. Constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling Method, the project comprises of a Smart Tunnel (SCADA) system. The tunnel has services such as CCTV, radio manipulation, continuous power supply, and airflow.
Moreover, the government has saved Rs 5000 crore by utilizing modern technology in this project. This tunnel is expected to provide year-round connectivity to Ladakh, which is currently cut off for around six months every year due to heavy snowfall.
- All-weather connectivity: The Zojila Tunnel project aims to provide all-weather connectivity to Ladakh, which is currently cut off from the rest of the country during winter due to heavy snowfall and landslides. The tunnel will ensure year-round connectivity, enabling the region’s economic and social development.
- The longest tunnel in Asia: The Zojila Tunnel is the longest tunnel in Asia, spanning 13.14 km, and will pass under the Zojila Pass in the Himalayas between Ganderbal in Kashmir & Drass town in Kargil district of Ladakh. The tunnel will significantly reduce travel time and improve connectivity between these regions.
- Cost-effective: The use of modern technology in the construction of the tunnel has led to significant cost savings for the government. The government has saved Rs 5000 crore by using the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) and other smart technologies in the project.
- Improved safety and comfort: The Zojila Tunnel project includes a Smart Tunnel (SCADA) system, CCTV cameras, radio control, uninterrupted power supply, and ventilation. These features will ensure the safety and comfort of passengers traveling through the tunnel.
- Employment opportunities: The construction of the Zojila Tunnel project has created job opportunities for local people and has boosted the local economy. It is expected to further improve employment opportunities in the region once the tunnel becomes operational.
- Strategic importance: The Zojila Tunnel project has strategic importance as it will improve connectivity to the region bordering China and Pakistan. It will also boost tourism in the region, which is home to several historic and religious sites.