Zojila Tunnel completion deadline extended to December 2030

The deadline for the completion of the Zojila tunnel, a project of strategic importance that will provide all-weather connectivity between the Kashmir valley and Ladakh region, has been extended to December 2030 due to difficult terrain and weather challenges. The 13-km-long tunnel, considered Asia’s longest and highest altitude tunnel, will significantly reduce travel time across the Zojila pass from four hours to just 15 minutes.

Despite 40 percent of the work being completed, officials revealed that the avalanche-prone area and severe weather disruptions have slowed down the remaining construction. The tunnel, connecting Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district to Minimarg in Ladakh’s Kargil district, will have an approach road of 18 km.

The project is crucial as the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway, currently closed during winter due to heavy snowfall, isolates the Ladakh region from Kashmir. Once operational, the tunnel will overcome this challenge, offering uninterrupted connectivity throughout the year.

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