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Kashmir's tourism will increase by 2 to 3 times once Zojila Tunnel is built: Nitin Gadkari
Srinagar: Following the inspection of the ongoing work on the Zojila Tunnel, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that tourism will increase by 2-3 times with the construction of the tunnel.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Jammu and Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha visit Zojila Tunnel to inspect the ongoing work. "With the construction of this tunnel, tourism will increase by 2-3 times and employment opportunities will also grow in Jammu and Kashmir," said Gadkari.
"We will achieve connectivity between Kashmir to Kanniyakumari in the true sense," he added.
Gadkari in a tweet said that as many as 19 tunnels are being constructed in Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs 25 thousand crore.
"19 tunnels are being constructed in Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs 25 thousand crore. Under this, construction work of 13.14 km long tunnel and approach road is in progress at Zojila at a cost of Rs 6800 crore. It is a 7.57 meter high horseshoe-shaped single tube, 2-lane tunnel, which will pass under the Zojila Pass in the Himalayas between Ganderbal in Kashmir and Drass town in Kargil district of Ladakh. The project includes a Smart Tunnel (SCADA) system, constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling Method. It is equipped with facilities like CCTV, radio control, uninterrupted power supply, ventilation. The Government of India has also saved Rs 5000 crore by the use of modern technology in this project," tweeted Gadkari in Hindi.
The transport minister further said that with the construction of this tunnel, there will be all-weather connectivity for Ladakh.
"With the construction of this tunnel, there will be all-weather connectivity for Ladakh. Now the average travel time to cross the Zojila Pass sometimes takes three hours, after the completion of this tunnel the travel time will come down to 20.0 minutes. The reduction in travel time will ultimately result in fuel savings, he tweeted.
He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the aim is for the all-round development of J-K through better road connectivity.
"The terrain near Zojila Pass is extremely inhospitable, with many fatal accidents taking place here every year. After the completion of the Zojila Tunnel, the chances of accidents will be zero. This tunnel will provide year-round connectivity between the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, which will be extremely important for the development of Ladakh, the promotion of tourism, free movement of local goods and the movement of Indian armed forces in case of emergency. We are committed to the all-round development of Jammu and Kashmir through better road connectivity under the leadership of respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he tweeted.
Earlier on April 9, Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL), which is executing Zoji La Tunnel, is going on at a rapid pace and is likely to be completed by December 2026.
According to the construction company, it is hopeful of completing the project by December 2026. (ANI)