Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Rs 6,809 crore Asia’a longest Zojila tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh, kickstarting the work for strategic bi-directional tunnel, which will provide all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.
The total length of the tunnel, at an altitude of 11,578 feet, is about 14.5 km at Srinagar Kargil Leh National Highway. The tunnel would cut down the 3.5 hours of drive through the mountainous Zojila to 15 minutes.
About 7,000 crores will be spent to build the Zozila tunnel. According to the engineers, it will take more than five years to develop.
Modi said it would provide connectivity to the region besides employment to the local youths.
“Jammu and Kashmir is going to get development projects worth Rs 25,000 crore. These projects will have a positive impact on the people of the state,” he said.
“Today projects worth Rs 25,000 crore will either be dedicated to the nation or the foundation stone will be laid. This shows that New Delhi is completely dedicated to all-round development of state,” he said.
The road connectivity will be restored to Kargil after the construction of the Zojila tunnel due to snowfall, the road connectivity is closed for seven months now.
The project will further increase the employment potential for the local labourers for the project activities. On its completion, it will lead to an enormous boost in employment as local businesses get linked to national market and tourist traffic increases.
At the foundation ceremony Narendar Modi says “Projects of Rs. 25,000 crores will either be launched or inaugurated in all three areas and it has shown commitment of central and state governments in the direction of speedy development of the state”.