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Places in news: Zojila Tunnel

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Zojila Pass

Mains level : Road infrastructure in Himalayas

Union Transport Ministry has launched the first blasting for construction-related work at the Zojila tunnel that will provide all-year connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh.

These days various Himalayan passes and tunnels are overwhelmingly seen in news. Open your Atlas and try to spot all of them for now and once before the exam.

Zojila Tunnel

  • The Zojila is set to be Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel.
  • It will connect Srinagar, Dras, Kargil and Leh via a tunnel through the famous Zojila Pass.
  • Located at more than 11,500 feet above sea level, the all-weather Zojila tunnel will be 14.15 km long and ensure road connectivity even during winters.
  • It will make the travel on the 434-km Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Section of NH-1 free from avalanches, enhance safety and reduce the travel time from more than 3 hours to just 15 minutes.
  • The speed limit inside the tunnel is likely to be the same as in the Atal tunnel – 80 kmph.

Its significance

  • The project holds strategic significance as Zojila Pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway and remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall.
  • At present, it is one of the most dangerous stretches in the world to drive a vehicle and this project is also geo-strategically sensitive.
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