Around 10 tunnels with the length of 100 kilometers are planned to be made in Kashmir and Ladakh region to for the better movement of civilian and military vehicles throughout the year. Some of these tunnels are located at a height of high as 17,000 feet which makes it a challenging task of their construction.
On October 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Atal tunnel which is located at a height of around 10,000 feet. This 9.02 KM long tunnel shortened travel time between Leh and Manali and also provided connectivity to Lahaul and Spiti in the hill state throughout the year.
Border Roads Organization (BRO) is looking forward to construct eight tunnel that will improve connectivity to Ladakh, and a few similar projects for Kashmir in roads linking Line of Control.
Since India-China scuffle started in early May, India is consistently trying to improve its connectivity in the border area. In case a major war breaks out, this will better facilitate the transportation of military vehicles. Last week, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 44 bridges built by the BRO. 10 of these bridges were made in Jammu and Kashmir while 8 in Ladakh.
The construction of Zojila tunnel will connect Srinagar and Leh throughout the year. It will be 14 km long and situated at a height of 11,500 feet. It is located at a very strategic place and moreover, it will make able civilians to transport even in winters when other modes cut off. Its foundation stone was laid in May 2018 by PM Modi. This project is estimated to cost around 4,500 Crores.
A tunnel has also been proposed for alternate route to Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) and Depsang Plains in eastern Ladakh. Khardung La tunnel will connect Nubra Valley and Leh. This seven kilometer tunnel will enhance connectivity to the forward area close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Other than being a tourist attraction, Nubra Valley is strategically important area of Ladakh as it borders both China and Pakistan.
Like Atal tunnel, there are around four similar projects for better connectivity between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. These tunnels will be built at heights around 17,000 feet.