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Construction of Zojila Tunnel will begin this year: Gadkari

Construction of Zojila Tunnel will begin this year: Gadkari

New Delhi, Jan 3 (UNI) The strategically important, two-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel once complete will help connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh with all weather road and the construction work will begin this year, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said here on Wednesday.

Describing it as the longest tunnel in Asia, Mr Gadkari while addressing a press conference said 14.150 km will reduce the travelling time from three and half hours to just fifteen minutes.

He said, the construction work will begin this year, and the “bhoomi pujan” will be done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Gadkari said.

The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day cleared the construction, operation and maintenance of two-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel.

He said the proposal for the tunnel started 20 years ago but due to hostile conditions of the area, no one showed willingness to do work there. But now new technology would be used for the construction of the tunnel and four companies have shown interest.

Mr Gadkari said the all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and will bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions.

He said the project would cost Rs 6,808.69 crore and would be completed in seven years.

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