Seven years after it was first approved, the much delayed project to link Kargil and Leh to Srinagar and the rest of India through an all weather road will finally get off the drawing board.
On October 4, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will lay the foundation stone of the 6 km long tunnel at Z-Morh, Ganderbal.
Along with the 13 km long Zozila tunnel – whose foundation stone would be laid next year – the two state of the art all weather tunnel across Zojila Pass on National Highway-1 will link Kargil and Leh with the rest of India. Now, these two areas remain cut off for six months during the winter months because of heavy snowfall and inclement weather.
Though first approved way back in 2005, the twin tunnel had remained on the drawing board ever since on account of technical difficulties in implementing the project in such a difficult terrain.
Work gathered momentum only late last year after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, following a visit to J&K, requested the road minister CP Joshi to expedite it. "The foundation stone will be laid by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on October 4," said road minister CP Joshi.
The first phase of t e project - building the 6.5 km long tunnel at Z-Morh is estimated to cost about Rs 2700 crore and is expected to be completed by 2018.