- Nov 12, 2022
File photo of Zojila and Z-Morh tunnels | ANI
New Delhi: With the construction of three of the six tunnels, including the strategic Z-Morh tunnel, expected to be completed by mid-2023, road connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India is set to get a big leg up.
Four of the six tunnels are coming up on National Highway-244, connecting Jammu to Anantnag. They are the Khellani tunnel, the KM 83 tunnel, Shuddhmadev-Dranga tunnel and Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel. Once the four tunnels are ready, travel time between Jammu and Anantnag will reduce from the current 11-12 hours to 6 hours.
The remaining two tunnels on NH-1 — the strategically crucial Zojila and Z-Morh — will provide all-weather road connectivity between Srinagar and Kargil.
The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), a unit of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, is implementing all the six tunnel projects, worth Rs 18,539 crore.
“These tunnels are important from a strategic point of view and will provide round-the-year connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir to the rest of India and will also spur economic activity in the region,” NHIDCL managing director Chanchal Kumar told ThePrint.
Kumar added that the tunnels will not only come as a boost for the security forces, but will also ease travel for civilians.
Currently, during the winter, heavy snowfall frequently disrupts road movement on NH-244, connecting Jammu to Anantnag, and NH-1, connecting Srinagar to Kargil.
Strategic J & K tunnels under construction| Graphics by: Manisha Yadav | ThePrint
Three tunnels to be ready by 2023Kumar said the three tunnels likely to be completed next year are Khellani, ‘KM 83’, and Z-Morh. The Khellani tunnel is expected to be ready by May and the ‘KM 83’ tunnel by April.
The Z-Morh tunnel, connecting Srinagar to Sonamarg, is likely to be ready by mid-2023. “Though the official date of completion of the Z-Morh tunnel is December 2023, we are hoping to finish work three-four months before the targeted date,” a senior NHIDCL officer said.
The strategically important 14.15 km tunnel coming up at Zojila, connecting Srinagar to Kargil, is expected to be completed by September 2026. The existing NH-1, connecting Srinagar to Leh, remains shut six months on account of snowfall. Once ready, the Zojila tunnel will reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh from 3 hours to barely 15 minutes.
The geo-sensitive Zojila stretch, which is strategically important from defence perspective, will not only provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Drass, Kargil and Leh, but also further strengthen economic and social-cultural integration of both the Union Territories.
Bids for two tunnels on NH-244 soonNHIDCL will shortly open bids for two more tunnels on NH-244 — the 8 km Shudhmahadev-Dranga tunnel worth Rs 3,703 crore, and the 10.3 km Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel worth Rs 4,808 crore.
“We will open the bids soon and intend to award work on both the projects this fiscal,” Kumar said.
Currently, highway projects worth over Rs 50,000 crore are underway in the region and implemented by agencies including NHIDCL and Border Road Organisation (BRO). The BRO and the Public Works Department in Jammu and Kashmir are implementing over 24 NH projects.
Expected next year: 3 strategic tunnels in J&K to boost security & connectivity, cut travel time
Khellani, KM 83 & Z-Morh tunnels will help in ensuring J&K's round-the-year connectivity with rest of India. Currently, NHIDCL is undertaking six projects worth Rs 18,539 crore.
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BRO ramping up roads in Arunachal districts along LAC
BRO developing bordering areas in Arunachal Pradesh to counter China's aggressive behaviour towards LAC (Photo/ANI)
Tezpur (Assam) [India], December 19 (ANI): The Border Roads Organization (BRO) is engaged in major infrastructural development works along the bordering areas and the government has planned to connect all bordering villages of Arunachal Pradesh with good connectivity roads.
Apart from the road connectivity, the BRO is engaging in construction works of two important tunnels in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang and West Kameng districts which will become the game changer for the Indian security forces in view of security issues towards the international border.
The BRO has engaged in all infrastructural development works under Project Vartak.
According to the officials, the constitution works of the Nechiphu Tunnel, at an altitude of 5,700 feet, is a unique 500-metre-long “D-shaped, Single Tube Double Lane Tunnel” on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) road in West Kameng district, is nearby of completion and the construction works of the Sela Pass tunnel will also be completed in next 5-6 months.
The Nechiphu tunnel will accommodate two-way traffic and will be equipped with modern lighting and safety facilities and the tunnel has been conceived to bypass extreme foggy conditions prevailing around Nechiphu Pass which have caused hindrance to general traffic and military convoys for many decades.
The Nechiphu tunnel will be provided with a state-of-the-art electro-mechanical system including firefighting devices, an auto illumination system and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) controlled monitoring systems and it will also accommodate raised footpaths on both sides for safer pedestrian movement which will have ducts for power cables, optical fibre cables and utility lines to strengthen the civic amenities infrastructure.
Under Project Vartak the BRO is also engaged in the construction works of another strategic tunnel, the Twin Tube (1,555 meters and 980 meters) “The Sela Tunnel Project” on the same road.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Brig Raman Kumar, Chief Engineer, Vartak said that heavy vehicle movement is hampered in the current Sela Pass road during the winter season.
“Now with the construction of the Sela Pass tunnel traffic will be allowed throughout the year. The heavy vehicles whether it is security forces or private industry equipment which is moving to the area will be able to pass easily through the Sela tunnel and accessibility to Tawang will be opened up. As well as it will boost tourism. It is a very important tunnel. The BRO is very happy and proud to give this to the nation,” Brig Raman Kumar said.
He also said that apart from the roads we are having two important tunnels.
“Sela tunnel is under construction and it is about 400 meters below the Sela Pass. We have two tunnels in that alignment. Once that tunnel is completed, we will have throughout the winters also people would be able to pass through the Sela Pass and it will provide good connectivity in the Tawang district. Another tunnel we are having is at Nechiphu. Apart from it, we have bridges, helipads and so many other works which are helped in the overall development of the Tawang district,” Brig Raman Kumar said.
He further said that the Nechiphu tunnel is almost near completion and we are doing the finishing line of the road work. In the next 2-3 months, the Nechiphu tunnel will be opened for public, civilian traffic. The Sela Pass tunnel, it’s a long tunnel – one tunnel is 1590 meter long tunnel and another is almost a kilometre in length the condition in that area is very tough, but BRO is working overnight and 24-hour works are going on and our task is to open the tunnel for the public as earliest as possible.
“In the next 4-6 months we will be able to open the Sela tunnel. We are constructing several permanent bridges in Arunachal Pradesh. Many other bridges are in pipeline,” Brig Raman Kumar said.
The Chief Engineer of Project Vartak said that the BRO is developing and maintaining in all the road networks in important border areas.
“We are part of project Vartak and we are looking after in Western Assam and Western Arunachal Pradesh areas. We have important National Highway double lane roads, and other types of roads and our aim is to connect each and every village in far furlong areas of West Kameng and Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh. We want to actively contribute to the socio-economic development of this area. The terrain in this area is very difficult. There are mountainous terrain and high altitude terrain. The mountains are very tough and the climate conditions are very tough. The BRO is working round the clock to provide connectivity in difficult and harsh climatic conditions. There are some remote villages and we are also providing roads to the remote villages. There is no area which is not developed part of the Western Arunachal,” Brig Raman Kumar said. (ANI)
BRO ramping up roads in Arunachal districts along LAC
By Hemanta Kumar Nath Tezpur (Assam) [India], December 19 (ANI): The Border Roads Organization (BRO) is engaged in major infrastructural development works along the bordering areas and the government has planned to connect all bordering villages of Arunachal Pradesh with good connectivity roads...