National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), on Tuesday, signed a MoU with M/S IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of the 14.150 km long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.
This would be India’s longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh, the release said.
The project aims at the construction of 14.150 km long two lanes bidirectional single tube tunnel with a parallel 14.200 km long egress tunnel between Baltaland Minamarg in the state of J&K.
“The total capital cost of the project is Rs 6808.69 crore. It includes the cost towards land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities as well as maintenance and operation cost of the tunnel for four years.” the release stated.
The civil construction cost of the project is Rs 4899.42 crore. The construction period of the project is seven years which shall be reckoned from the date of commencement of construction, it added.
Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, “Urged the construction company to make efforts to complete the project faster than the seven years assigned for it so that its benefits can reach the people of the region at the earliest.”
He also urged the company to explore whether it is technically feasible to lay railway tracks in the tunnel along with the road.
The projects will also increase the employment potential for the local labourers for the project activities, the release said.