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Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to review Zojila, Z-Morh tunnel projects today, all you need to know

New Delhi: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari will review and inspect the Zojila and Z-Morh tunnel projects on Tuesday (September 28, 2021). Gadkari will drive through the 6.5 km long Z-Morh main tunnel and visit the 14.15 km long Zojila tunnel through the west and east portals.

Both projects are under the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) and as per them, work on the Zojila and Z-Morh tunnels on the Srinagar-Leh highway is going on at a fast pace and will be completed ahead of schedule in 2023.

The Zojila tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh (Ladakh plateau) on NH-1. It involves the construction of a 14.15 km long tunnel at an altitude of about 3000 m under Zojila pass (presently motorable only for 6 months in a year) on NH-1 connecting Srinagar and Leh through Dras and Kargil. This is to be noted that it is one of the most dangerous stretches in the world to drive a vehicle.

Here’s all you need to about Zojila Tunnel
Significance:

The construction of the Zojila Tunnel will provide all-weather safe connectivity between Srinagar, Dras, Kargil and Leh regions. It will also bring about all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions which remains cut-off from the rest of the country during winters due to heavy snowfall for about six months.

It, notably, will also be of great importance to the defence of the country, in view of the recent military activities that took place along borders in Ladakh, Gilgit and Baltistan.

The project will also make the travel on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Section of NH-1 free from avalanches.

It will enhance the safety of the travelers crossing Zojila Pass and according to the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, it will reduce the travel time from more than 3 hours to 15 minutes.

Safety features:

According to the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, emergency lay-bys are located at intervals of 750 m staggered on both sides of the carriageway.

Manual fire alarm push buttons and portable fire extinguishers will be at the disposal of all drivers.

A telephone will be installed at the emergency call niches.

Fire Hydrants and Hydrant Niches, Fire Extinguishers.

The tunnel Lighting System will represent the most significant part of the tunnel traffic safety and will cover the entrance lighting (in the accommodation sections at both ends of the tunnel), interior lighting (through the whole tunnel) and lay-bys lighting.

The tunnel will also have a video surveillance system.

It will also have a fire alarm system in buildings and automatic fire detection and suppression system in the tunnel.

The tunnel will also have a traffic control system with a central control room.

Here’s all you need to about Z-Morh Tunnel
The Z-Morh tunnel will facilitate locals and tourists to access Sonamarg during the winter season as well. It will also facilitate a socio-economic boost to Jammu and Kashmir.

The tunnel project is being executed on DBFOT mode with an approximate cost of Rs 2,378 crore.

Recently, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur had also inspected Zojila and Z-Morh tunnel projects.