New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the construction, operation and maintenance of 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel with Parallel Escape (Egress) Tunnel excluding approaches on Srinagar-Leh section connecting NH-1A at Km 95.00 and at Km 118.00 in Jammu & Kashmir on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode. The construction of this tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and will bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions. The project has strategic and socio-economic importance and shall be an instrument for the development of the economically backward districts in Jammu & Kashmir.
The construction period of the project is seven years which shall be reckoned from the date of commencement of construction.
The civil construction cost of the project is Rs 4899.42 crore.
The total capital cost of the project is Rs 6808.69 crore. It includes the cost towards Land Acquisition, Resettlement & Rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities as well as Maintenance and Operation cost of tunnel for four years.
The Project aims at construction of 14.150 km long two lane bidirectional single tube tunnel with a parallel 14.200 km long egress tunnel excluding approaches between Baltal & Minamarg in the State of J&K.
The construction of approaches of this tunnel is being undertaken separately.
The project will be implemented by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRT&H) through National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).
The main objective of the project is to provide all whether connectivity to strategically important Leh region in Jammu & Kashmir which at the moment is limited to at best 6 months because of snow on the passes and threat of avalanches.
This project alongwith other ongoing projects like 6.5 km long Z-Morh tunnel at Gagangir would ensure safe, fast and cheap connectivity between the two regions of Kashmir and Ladakh.
It will further increase the employment potential for the local labourers for the project activities.
The project, on completion, would lead to enormous boost in employment as local businesses get linked to National market and the beautiful region is able to receive round the year tourist traffic.
These sectors will generate employment at multiple levels.