Zojila project consists of tunnels, roads, shafts, and bridges

Sonamarg (JK): The work on the strategic Zojila Tunnel, which will provide all-weather connectivity between Ladakh region and the rest of the country, is nearing the halfway mark as the excavation for seven-km tunnel length has been completed, officials said here on Monday.

"The works have been carried out on a war footing. We have completed 40-45 per cent of road works and tunnel works so far. The tunnel excavation works of 7,002 metres have been completed as of now," said an official of Mega Engineering and Industries Limited (MEIL), the executing agency.

The officials said the work on the prestigious Zojila project on the Srinagar-Leh highway is about to reach the halfway mark.

Once completed, the Zojila project which consists of tunnels, roads, shafts, and bridges will have Asia's longest bi-directional tunnel.

The project is a unique infrastructure project which will provide year-long connectivity between Srinagar and Ladakh. "It also decreases the travel time between the two regions," the official said.

The officials said Zojila Project is being executed with engineering expertise and advanced New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM).

"MEIL has carried the works in sub-zero temperatures, especially at minus 40 degrees, in high altitude and hilly and hard rocky terrain. It is hard to execute all drilling and civil works in that hilly terrains which contain hard rock and heavy seepage," the official added.

MEIL's project in-charge Harpal Singh said, "We are doing the project with dedication, determination and hard work." The Zojila project consists of a total of 18-km-long tunnels and 17-km-long road, three vertical shafts, four bridges, and other associated structures.

MEIL has deployed a total of 1,268 advanced and high-end technology machinery and equipment for the execution of the project with a 2000-strong workforce.