Strategic Z-Morh tunnel in Kashmir to be completed by Jun 2021: Official

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SRINAGAR: Work on the 6.5-km Z-Morh tunnel, part of a strategic project for ensuring round-the-year connectivity between Kashmir valley and Ladakh region, is being undertaken on a war footing and it will be completed by June 2021, an official spokesman said here Monday.

The spokesman said the information about the status of works on the Z-Morh tunnel was given at a meeting chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam.

The chief secretary took the meeting of National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) to review the progress of various road projects being undertaken by them in Jammu & Kashmir.

With regard to Kashmir province, the meeting was informed that works on mega projects including Z-Morh tunnel and Zoji-La tunnel, are being undertaken on a war footing, the spokesman said.

“During the meeting, it was given out that Z-Morh tunnel project comprises 6.5-km tunnel, a 6-km approach road, two major bridges and one minor bridge. The project worth Rs. 2,379 crores is expected to be completed by 30th June, 2021 and will provide round-the-year connectivity to Sonamarg,” he said.

Work under Zoji-La project are also being taken up simultaneously.

It was mentioned that this project comprehensively includes a 14.15-km tunnel, an 18-km approach road between Z-Morh and Zoji-La tunnel as a single integrated package, besides carriageway, two snow galleries, four major bridges and 18 avalanche-protection dams, he added.

The project will cost Rs. 4,430 crores and is expected to be operational by June, 2026, which will enable round-the-year connectivity to Ladakh, the spokesman added.

The Chief Secretary also reviewed progress of Baramulla- Gulmarg, Vailoo-Khanabal, Vailoo-Donipawa, Donipawa-Ashajipora road projects.

While reviewing the progress on road projects being executed in Jammu province, it was informed that a penalty of Rs 25 lakh has been imposed on the erring contractor for abandoning project works under third package of Jammu-Akhnoor road, and the works will resume shortly.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Jammu, maintained that 15-KMs stretch is currently encumbrance free and the rest will be made available by 30th July, 2020, so as to enable speedy completion of the project.

Moreover, Chief Secretary urged Divisional Commissioner, Jammu to allow contractors to bring in migrant labourers and equipment after observing the duly established protocols and standard operating procedures with respect to COVID -19 mitigation efforts.

The Chief Secretary emphasised on effective monitoring of projects to ensure their timely completion.

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