Zojila tunnel to add more teeth to defence ops in Ladakh: Kargil DCUpdated: Oct 15, 2020, 21:36 IST
As Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday launched the construction work on the Zojila tunnel, the Kargil administration has said that besides providing all-year connectivity to the Ladakh region, the 14.15-km tunnel will work to the advantage of the Indian Army.
It may be stated here that China has been into a protracted stand-off with the India Army in eastern Ladakh. On June 15, India lost 20 soldiers in a bloody clash at the Galwan valley.
Kargil district commissioner (DC) Baseer-ul-Haq Choudhary said the tunnel will add more teeth to the army’s defence operations in the strategic region.
“It was a long pending demand of the people of Ladakh. It will be a strategic tunnel that will keep the region connected with the rest of India all year, not just physically, but emotionally too,” the DC said.
The district head said that with this many employment opportunities will open up for the people of Ladakh and supply of essential commodities to the region will also be maintained round the clock.
“Ladakh being a tourist destination, the tunnel will give impetus to tourism, winter sports like ice hockey, skiing and other activities,” he said.
Choudhary also informed that from the defence point of view, the road link will strengthen national security. “It will be of great importance to the defence forces. This project shall bring to fruition 70 years of overwhelming public demand of Ladakh region,” he added.
After IL&FS went into financial problems, the project work allotted to it in May 2018 was stopped in July 2018, and the contract was terminated in January 2019 by NHIDCL.
In February 2020, Gadkari reviewed the whole project in detail and approved the project afresh on May 23.
The construction period is now six years.
The total integrated cost of the project including Zojila tunnel and approaches up to Z-Morh tunnel works out to ₹10,643 crore.