Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari in the presence of Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Shri Manoj Sinha and Members of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Road Transport and Highways inspected the Geo-strategically important Z-Morh Tunnel on Srinagar-Leh Highway (NH-1) today.
19 tunnels are being constructed in Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs 25 thousand crore. Under this, construction work of 6.5 km length Z-morh tunnel and approach road is in progress at a cost of Rs 2680 crore. This 2-lane road tunnel is being built under the mountain glacier Thajiwas Glacier between Gagangir and Sonamarg in Ganderbal district of Kashmir.
Under the Z-Morh tunnel project, a main tunnel of total length of 10.8 meters with a modified horse shoe shape escape tunnel of total length of 7.5 meters, D-shaped ventilation tunnel of total length of 8.3 meters, 2 major culverts of total length of 110 meters and 270 meters, 1 small culvert of total length of 30 meters is proposed. Till now 75% work of Z-Morh Tunnel has been completed. A target has been set to dedicate this tunnel by December 2023.
Intelligent Traffic Management System has been installed in Z-Morh Tunnel which will make it easier to control traffic. Along with this, traffic will be facilitated through the dedicated escape tunnel. The Z-Morh tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity to the Sonamarg tourist town. The debris generated during the construction work of this project has been used for way-side facilities and development of the area.
The area of Z-Morh tunnel is strategically important as its construction will ensure seamless connectivity between Srinagar and Kargil and there will also be considerable reduction in travel time between Srinagar and Leh. This tunnel will promote social and economic development in the entire region. Tourism in Sonamarg will be promoted including activities like whitewater rafting on Thajiwas Glacier and Sindh River.