Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone to kick-start the work on Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel.
The tunnel title ‘Zojila’ will be built at a cost of Rs 6,809 crore, the 14.2km long tunnel will provide the all-weather land connectivity to Ladakh region, which remains cut off from the rest of the country during winters.
The tunnel, which will come up at an altitude of 3,528 metres high Zojila pass, is expected to bring down the travel time from 3.5 hours to 15 minutes. Once ready, the tunnel will become a lifeline for the people of Kargil and Leh. The normal life in both the towns comes to a standstill during winters as all the necessary goods and medicines are flown in via aircrafts.
Besides ensuring that land transportation is not thrown out of gear after snowfall, the tunnel will also be of strategic importance for country’s defence forces, which have stock up the supplies for several months.