Cabinet set to clear all-weather Zojila tunnel project | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cabinet set to clear all-weather Zojila tunnel project

delhi Updated: Oct 16, 2013 23:41 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
Moushumi Das Gupta
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The Centre is set to give the green signal to a vital road-link project in Kashmir that will connect the strategically important region of Kargil and Leh to the rest of India through a 14-km-long all-weather tunnel.

Currently, these two regions remain cut off from Srinagar and the rest of the country for about six months during the winter season on account of heavy snowfall and inclement weather. The Union cabinet is likely to approve the proposed Rs 9,000-crore tunnel project passing through Zojila – one of the highest mountain passes in India – on Thursday.

Located at an altitude of about 12,000 feet on National Highway-1, the Zojila tunnel along with another 6.5 km long tunnel at Z-Morh in Sonmarg — cleared for construction last year — will provide road connectivity to these areas round the year.

“The twin tunnels once complete will not only usher in much-needed economic development in the region but also bring respite to people living here who get stranded during the treacherous winter months,” a senior road ministry official said.

Though first approved way back in 2005, the twin tunnel project had remained on the drawing board till last year. Work gathered momentum only late last year after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, following a visit to J-K requested the then road minister CP Joshi to expedite it.

Currently, these two regions remain cut off from Srinagar and the rest of the country for about six months during the winter season on account of heavy snowfall and inclement weather. The Union cabinet is likely to approve the proposed Rs 9,000-crore tunnel project passing through Zojila – one of the highest mountain passes in India – on Thursday.

Located at an altitude of about 12,000 feet on National Highway-1, the Zojila tunnel along with another 6.5 km long tunnel at Z-Morh in Sonmarg — cleared for construction last year — will provide road connectivity to these areas round the year.

“The twin tunnels once complete will not only usher in much-needed economic development in the region but also bring respite to people living here who get stranded during the treacherous winter months,” a senior road ministry official said.

Though first approved way back in 2005, the twin tunnel project had remained on the drawing board till last year. Work gathered momentum only late last year after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, following a visit to J-K requested the then road minister CP Joshi to expedite it.

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