The central government plans to build 235 km of tunnels in the hilly states of Jammu and Kashmir, Leh, Ladakh and the Northeast. This ambitious plan will allow easy access to the China border due to connectivity with Leh-Ladakh in snowfall. The speed of 80 kilometres in the tunnels will save fuel and time. While the tunnels are strategically important, they will play an important role in promoting tourism on the hills.
According to the documents of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, construction work of many tunnels is going on in the hill states and their target of completion is also set. In this, the work of 6.5 km long Z mode tunnel will be completed by December 2023. This tunnel will provide 12 months of road connectivity to Srinagar-Leh Kargil. The Qazigund-Banihal (over 8 km) two-tube tunnel will be completed by March 2021. The construction of the Ramban-Banihal (about three km) tunnel is targeted to be completed by December 2021.
The construction of Zojila, Asia’s longest tunnel, has started. It is targeted to be built by the year 2023. The Khilani-Kastivad (450 m) long tunnel will be completed in June 2022. Apart from the under-construction, some tunnel projects are under DPR and tender process. In this, the DPR of Chenani-Anantnag (4.5 km) is ready.
Its tendering process will be started. The DPR has been prepared to construct a 10.20 km long tunnel near Sinthan. It is expected to cost 4600 crores. The tender for the Khilani bypass tunnel project is expected to be released soon. It will cost Rs 350 crore. A 10-km tunnel between Chhatru-Anantnag has been made by DPR. It is estimated to cost 5400 crores.