On 10th June, India’s government announced that it is accepting fresh bids for the construction of the Zojila Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir, one of the states in north of the country. Located on the Sonamarg-Kargil section of National Highway-01 from Srinagar to Leh, construction of the tunnel will enable all-year travel across the Ladakh region.
The tunnel is 14 km-long, single-tube, and bi-directional. The proposed works for the tunnel will also include loop roads, drainage, vehicle hard standing area, retaining walls, avalanche protection structures, and protection works.
Nevertheless, the project has a history of delays, with bids which have been invited many times since 2014. This has seen the government cancel a bid from IRB Infrastructure; followed by the termination of the contract awarded to winning bidder IL & FS Transportation after the fact that the company ran into financial troubles.
Moreover, they have invited bids for an 18.5 km connecting road between the proposed Zojila tunnel and the Z-Morh tunnel which is currently under construction. For building the road, it is required to construct two twin-tube unidirectional tunnels entirely about 2.4 km at Nilghar.
Economic Times of India has mentioned that the government-funded Zojila and connecting road contracts are valued approximately Rs. 4,430 crore (USD 585m) together.
Source: Tunnels and Tunneling