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3 Oct, 2012

New Tunnel Highway to Provide All-Weather Access to Laddakh


Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, 02-October, 2012 – In a major initiative to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in the State of Jammu & Kashmir and also to facilitate all-weather road connectivity between Srinagar and Leh, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has decided to construct a tunnel called “Z-Morh” Tunnel on Srinagar-Leh section of National Highway-1 (NH-1).

This Z-Morh tunnel is 6.5 km long two-lane tunnel with parallel 6.5 km long escape tunnel on a new alignment between Gagangir and Sonamarg under Srinagar-Leh section of NH-1.

The foundation laying of this significant tunnel will be laid on 4 October 2012 by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Dr. C. P. Joshi, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr Omar Abdullah.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has entrusted the implementation of this project to Border Road Organisation (BRO). The project will be constructed on Build Own Transfer-BOT (Annuity) mode with a project cost of about Rs.2680 crore on the basis of approved guidelines for such projects.

Leh is connected to mainland via Jammu-Srinagar-Zozila-Kargil-Leh and Manali-Sarchu-Leh route. These are the only life lines for the survival of people of Laddakh and their socio-economic development. Both these routes remain completely cut off for six to seven months during winter (November to May) due to heavy snow fall and avalanche prone areas along these routes. The construction of this Z-Morh tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity between Srinagar & Leh, thereby bringing big relief to the people of Laddakh.

The stretch between Srinagar-Leh would be important for the betterment of the socio-economic development of the people of Laddakh. The tunnel will also boost the tourism potential of the Sonamarg and adjacent area.

Besides enhancing the safety of the road users, the construction of tunnel will provide the employment potential to the local labourers. The improved all-weather road connectivity will boost up industrial growth and local economic activities in villages, towns and urban/semi-urban areas falling in or situated close to the project highway.