SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow will inaugurate ring road projects in Jammu and Srinagar and also attend the commencement of work on Zojila Tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh Highway.
“He will also lay the foundation stone for Srinagar Ring Road and Jammu Ring Road at separate events at Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (AKICC), Srinagar and at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium in Jammu the same day. Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari will also be present at the events,” said an official handout.
“The 14-km long Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bidirectional tunnel.”
It said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had approved the construction, operation, and maintenance of this 2-lane bi-directional tunnel with Parallel Escape (Egress) tunnel between Baltal and Minamarg on the Srinagar-Leh section of NH-1A at a total cost of Rs 6800 crore earlier this year.
Elaborating about the tunnel project, the handout said, the construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil, and Leh.
“The Zojila tunnel has been planned as a smart tunnel. It will have latest safety features like fully transverse ventilation system, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), Tunnel Emergency Lighting, CCTV Monitoring, Variable Message Signs (VMS), Traffic Logging Equipment, Over Height Vehicle Detection, Tunnel Radio System, etc. It will have pedestrian cross passages at every 250 meter and motorable cross passages and lay-bys at every 750 meter. It will have emergency telephones and fire-fighting cabinets at every 125 meters,” it said.
The handout said the Ring Roads and Srinagar and Jammu are aimed at reducing traffic congestion at these cities and making road travel safer, faster, more convenient and more environment-friendly.
“The 42.1 Km, 4 lane Srinagar Ring Road will link Galandar in West Srinagar to Sumbal. Being built at a cost of Rs 1860 crore, this road will provide a new route from Srinagar to Kargil and Leh, and reduce travel time. There will be a major bridge, three flyovers, 23 tunnels and 2 viaducts on this route,” it said about the Srinagar Ring Road project.
The 58.25 km, 4-lane Jammu Ring Road, being built at a cost of Rs 2023.87 crore, will link Jagati (western Jammu) to Raya Morh. There will be 8 large bridges, 6 flyovers, 2 tunnels and 4 viaducts on this route, the official handout added.