Indian government approves major tunnel

29 Jun 2018

India’s government has approved construction of a 14km tunnel to provide year-round connectivity in anavalanche-prone region of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the primeminister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the construction,operation and maintenance of the two-lane, bi-directional Zojila Tunnel and aparallel escape tunnel. The project will be carried out on an engineering,procurement and construction (EPC) mode. The construction of the approaches tothe tunnel is being undertaken separately.

The tunnel is designed to provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and to bringabout all round economic and socio-cultural integration in the region.Connectivity in the Leh region of Jammu & Kashmir is at present limited toat best six months because of snow on the passes and the threat of avalanches.

Construction is expected totake seven years. The cost of the civils work is put at approximately Rs49bn(£569m) and the total capital cost of the project is Rs68bn, including aspectssuch as land acquisition and maintenance.

The project will be implementedby the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways through the National Highways& Infrastructure Development Corporation.