The ZojiLa Tunnel is a 14.2 km long road tunnel under Zoji La pass in the Himalayas between Sonmarg and Drass town in Kargil district of the Indian Union Territory of Ladakh, currently under construction, with completion expected about 5–7 years after commencement of construction in 2018.
The Indian Government is pushing to complete the massive Zojila tunnel which will connect Kashmir and Ladakh, before the Republic Day of India , 2024 but Indian Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that despite the deadline for the completion work of the tunnel, the Center wants the work to be completed by December 2023. In other words, the center wants to open the tunnel for all before the 2024 Indian Parliament elections.
On Tuesday, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari visited the tunnel. He told reporters at the time that the construction company Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited was given a new target to complete the work.
In his words, “If we reach the target three years ahead of schedule, a new world record will undoubtedly be set by India.”
At 14.15 km, the Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel, and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel. A connecting tunnel from Z-Morh on NH1 to the Zojila tunnel will be built in the Zojila Ghats between Sonmarg and Kargil.
The work on the entire 33-km span is divided into two divisions. When complete, the Zojila tunnel will allow travel between Srinagar and Ladakh throughout the year. The project is expected to lead to integrated development of the Indian States Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
The center has been trying to speed up work on the tunnel since the recent clashes with China on the Ladakh border.
The Zojila Tunnel will connect Srinagar with Ladakh. As a result, not only road transport, but also the military and other equipment of the army can reach the remote hilly areas of Ladakh quickly.
The Zogila Tunnel is set to be the longest tunnel in the world and the longest in Asia. It is located at an altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level, it is 14.5 km long. The cost of making it is INR 6,600 crore rupees.
Not just for the defense, the tunnel is also expected to provide additional oxygen to the Indian tourism industry by providing free travel between Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.