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October 4, 2012

Foundation stone of Z-Morh Tunnel in J-K to be laid

     New Delhi: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways CP Joshi will lay the foundation stone of the "Z-Morh Tunnel" on the Srinagar-Leh section of National Highway (NH)-1, which aims to provide all-weather connectivity with Ladakh, today. The project is a major initiative to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

This Z-Morh tunnel is 6.5 km long and has two lanes with parallel 6.5 km long escape tunnel on a new alignment between Gagangir and Sonamarg under Srinagar-Leh section of NH-1. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India 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.

It may be mentioned that Leh is connected to mainland via Jammu-Srinagar-Zozila-Kargil-Leh and Manali-Sarchu-Leh routes. 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.

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