Zojila Tunnel is said to be the longest tunnel in Asia connecting Kashmir to Ladakh

The foundation of Zojila Tunnel Project, a historical and important tunnel in the history of India has been laid by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. The length of the 13.14 km long tunnel is the highest in Asia. The initial estimated cost of this project was Rs 12000 crore. Through one year of extensive research on the tunnel project with the assistance of officials, engineers, associates, and international consultants and experts, we have been able to adopt a technology which reduces the cost of the project by Rs 5000 crores, the union minister said. This is for the first time in history that we have a saving of Rs 5000 crore as far as estimated cost is concerned. The Zojila tunnel will be a state-of-the art project with the cooperation of the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and kashmir, Shri Manoj Sinha and the state government of Kashmir. It will be very helpful for us, added the minister. It is our dream to build connectivity from Kashmir to KanyaKumari. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari thanked the engineers and contractors as he realises it is very difficult for the construction workers to work here in extreme weather conditions. For four months, the temperature stays at minus eight degrees. And during winters, the temperature is minus 26 degrees. They work in a difficult environment and crucial period, the minister observed. Nitin Gadkari said that around 38 percent of the tunnel work is completed. And with the permission of the Prime Minister, the state government and the Lieutenant Governor we decided to inaugurate part of the tunnel project to give relief to people. Zojila tunnel will pass under the Zojila Pass in the Himalayas between Ganderbal in Kashmir and Drass town in Kargil district of Ladakh. So the Zojila tunnel will increase tourism in Kashmir. Tourism has the capacity to create maximum employment. The minister said the tunnel will be fully operational by November 2026. But LG said the last phase of the Zojila tunnel construction works is expected to be completed in September 2025, ahead of its deadline of November 2026. The LG also requested the Union minister to think about giving maximum employment to the local youth to which the minister has agreed. This will be fully followed here, said the LG. Today, the Government of India is running tunnels and connectivity worth more than one lakh crore in Jammu and Kashmir. In two-three years, visible changes have been felt. Once connectivity increases at the same time the economy will also increase, said the Lieutenant Governor.

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