Gadkari drives through Z-Morh tunnel; read why the 6.5 km-long stretch is crucial
The construction of this tunnel would enable the armed forces to deploy their men and machines in quick time. The project, worth Rs 2300 crore, is expected to be complete by June 2022.
Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday become the first person to pass through the Z-Morh tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh axis. During his drive through the tunnel, he also inspected the ongoing projects which began in October last year.
Minister of State Gen VK Singh (Retd) also accompanied Gadkari along with other senior officials.
"Sonmarg is a beautiful place, but due to lack of road infra people do not come here. The locals had to face lots of difficulties during the winter season. They do not get gas, fuel and vegetables for around 6 months. Now they would not have to face such issues," Gadkari said while talking to media persons.
The construction of this tunnel would enable the armed forces to deploy their men and machines in quick time.
The project, worth Rs 2300 crore, is expected to be complete by June 2022. However, the official deadline is December 2023.
The tunnel is strategically important as it is very close to the India-Pakistan border at Kargil and India-China border at Leh.
This 6.5km-long stretch will also help the locals in having round the year connectivity as earlier it used to be cut off due to snow for 3-4 months every year from Ladakh and Srinagar and the rest of the country.
Once completed, the tourism prospects of the state would get an impetus.
Speaking about the government's focus on developing the road infra, the minister said, "We are constructing a total of 52 km of tunnels in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. There will be 20 tunnels in J&K of 32 km while 11 in Ladakh of 20km. Tenders of several projects have been done, some of the DPRs are ready. The cost of construction would be around Rs 1.5 lakh crore."
He further said the works which have not been done in 50 years, will be carried out in the next two years in this region.