Zojila Tunnel: All you need to know about India’s longest road tunnel

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On January 24, infrastructure firm IL&FS Transportation Networks and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to construct the Zojila tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.
Here is a look at all that you need to know about the project:
The project: On January 3, the Union Cabinet approved the construction, operation and maintenance of Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir, mainly to provide all-weather connectivity among Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and to bring about all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions
The region: Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway, which remains closed during winters (December to April) due to heavy snowfall and avalanches cutting off the Leh-Ladakh region from Kashmir
The tunnel: It would be a two-lane bi-directional tunnel of 14.15-km length. The total length of National Highways in J&K is 1,245 km
Salient features

The government claims it will be country’s longest road tunnel
The total capital cost of the project is Rs 68.08 billion, including the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation, and other pre-construction activities, as well as maintenance and operation cost of the tunnel for four years
The civil construction cost of the project is Rs 48.99 billion and the construction period of the project is seven years
The tunnel would have a cut and cross-ventilation system, fully transverse ventilation system, uninterrupted power supply, CCTV monitoring, variable messaging boards, traffic logging equipment, tunnel radio, emergency telephone system
IL&FS Transportation had in July last year said it had emerged as the lowest bidder for Rs 48.99-billion Zojila tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir
Another tunnel, Chenani-Nashri on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2017
The Rs 37.20-billion Chenani-Nashri tunnel will reduce the distance between Jammu & Srinagar from 41 km to 9.2 km