Sonamarg: The work on the 6.5 km Z-Morh Tunnel, part of a strategic project and a first step towards ensuring round-the-year connectivity between Kashmir and Ladakh, is going on at a fast pace and would be completed ahead of the scheduled time in July 2023.
Officials of the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) and APCO Infratech Pvt Ltd, the companies responsible for the tunnel work, said that work on the Z-Morh Tunnel project coming up on the Srinagar-Leh Highway near the Gaganger area said that the tunnel would ensure all-weather connectivity between Kashmir with the famous tourist destination, Sonamarg that usually remains closed during winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanches.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, senior General Manager NHIDCL, V K Pandey said, “Work on Z-Morh Tunnel is going on at a fast pace and is expected to be completed by July next year ahead of the target date of December 2023.”
He said that only 30 to 40 percent of the work including the construction of an approach road and internal work like lining, lighting, finishing, and ventilation was pending.
Senior Vice President APCO Infratech, S Prasad told Greater Kashmir that soon after the work on the tunnel would be completed, it would be handed over to the concerned authorities.
“The 6.5 km Z-Morh Tunnel will connect Sonamarg along with a 5 km approach road,” Prasad said. “It is a bi-direction tunnel along with an escape tunnel for any eventuality.”
The Rs 2379 crore project is part of a mega project announced by the Centre.
The work on the Z-Morh Tunnel was halted for two years between 2017 and 2019 due to financial constraints faced by the then main executing agency IL&FS which later abandoned the work.
The government had to invite bids for the second time for the project on June 24, 2019, on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) annuity basis.
The government later awarded the crucial Z-Morh Tunnel to APCO Amarnathji Tunnelway Pvt Ltd.__GK News