Zojila Pass: Asia’s longest tunnel inaugurated, here is all that you need to know

New Delhi: Union Road Transport, Highways and MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari will inaugurate the first blasting of Zojila Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, which will ensure all-weather connectivity between Srinagar Valley and Leh. After the construction of this tunnel, Ladakh will also be connected to other states in every season.

Let us know that due to heavy snowfall in winter, the Srinagar-Leh-Ladakh highway is closed. But this problem will be overcome by the construction of 14.5 km long Zojila tunnel. Experts have described it as Asia’s longest tunnel. Not only this, the distance that takes about 3 and a half hours to cover the distance will now be completed in just 15 minutes. An 18 km long approach road will also be built in this tunnel, which will go through the tunnel to the Zojila tunnel. On this road, avalanche safety structures will be built which will provide all-weather connectivity between the two tunnels.

The project was first conceived in 2005, but could not be pursued. In May 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone in Leh, but could not proceed as IL&FS after July 2019, the firm to which the contract was awarded went bankrupt. The project was terminated on 15 January 2019.

Gadkari then reviewed the sluggish project in February 2020 and sent an expert group to reduce costs and execute it on priority. The statement said that after consulting with the tunnel experts and other stakeholders, the expert group submitted its report on May 17, 2020, which was approved by the minister.

Let’s know what is special in Zojila Tunnel

After the construction of this tunnel, the areas of Srinagar, Dras, Kargil and Leh will be connected in all seasons.

It is also very important strategically because through this road, soldiers deployed in Siachen are also supplied.

When these areas which are cut off from the rest of the country will join the country throughout the year, then their development will happen rapidly. Its demand was in the last 30 years.

Now there will be no fear of avalanche on the way to Srinagar-Kargil-Leh.

All the arrangements for safety in the tunnel

There will be emergency lay-bys on either side of the road within the tunnel, every 750 meters. There will also be sidewalks on either side of the carriageway.

According to European standards, there will be an emergency call facility every 125 meters.

The entire tunnel will have an automatic fire detection system. There will also be a manual fire alarm button. Every driver must also have a portable extinguisher.

CCTV cameras will be installed on the walls of the tunnel. Cameras will be installed by installing pillars at the start and finish of the tunnel. All data and images will be sent to the control room through the Video Communications line.

Also read in Hindi: Zojila Tunnel: जानें एशिया की सबसे लंबी सुरंग में क्या होगा खास