To check the growing influence of Pakistan and China in the Ladakh region and facilitate quick mobilisation of troops in case of any incursion from across the border, Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the Zojila tunnel on May 19, 2018.
The 14.2-km-long tunnel under the Zojila Pass, which remains inaccessible during winters due to heavy snowfall, will provide all-weather connectivity from Baltal in Kashmir to Minamarg near Gumri in Ladakh. The contract for the project has been awarded to IL & FS, which has local area expertise in infrastructure development in the tough terrain.
Located at a height of above 11,000 feet, Zojila Pass is known as the gateway to Ladkah region and connects Kargil and Leh with Srinagar. Although the tunnel will also make it easier for tourists and locals to cross the often treacherous Zojila Pass, the strategically-located tunnel will be a big asset for the army which will be able to deploy troops to the frontier areas of Ladakh region in no time during emergency. At present, troops and essential commodities have to be sent through air whenever the roads are blocked by heavy snow. Once ready in the next seven years, Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel.
Article Source : FirstPost