Published on: April 18, 2023
Why in news? Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari inspected the under-construction Zojila tunnel, which will establish all-weather connectivity between the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
What is the Zojila tunnel?
- The Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel, and is expected to be Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel, boasting a length of 14.15 km.
- The tunnel, will provide all-year, all-weather connectivity between Srinagar and Leh, and also significantly cut down travel time.
- connecting tunnel from Z-Morh on NH1 to the Zojila tunnel will be built in the Zojila Ghats between Sonmarg and Kargil. This involves the development and expansion of the 18.475-km highway between Z-Morh to Zojila.
- A 3-km stretch will be expanded; the rest will be newly developed. The highway will have two twin-tube tunnels, five bridges, and two snow galleries.
Why is the tunnel needed?
- Currently, the commute between Srinagar and Leh, the largest city in Ladakh, takes over 10 hours on a good day and passes through extremely inhospitable terrain. The Zojila Pass is a high mountain pass through which one has to travel in order to make the journey.