‘Reduction in travel time across Zojila pass will ensure year-round def supplies’

NEW DELHI, Jan 4: The move to reduce to 15 minutes the time taken to travel across the strategic Zojila pass on the national highway connecting Kashmir with Kargil and Leh, has been welcomed by a cross-section of people, including defence personnel, who feel it would ensure year-round supplies for troops.

The Union Cabinet yesterday cleared the construction of a bi-directional longest tunnel in Asia at an estimated cost of Rs 6,089 crore, a project which had been pending for the last two decades.

The 14.15 km tunnel will reduce the travel time on Zojila pass from an estimated 3 hours to 15 minutes besides providing an all-weather road to strategically important Kargil, the epi-centre of 1999 skirmishes between India and Pakistani troops.

Lt Gen D S Hooda, who retired as Corps commander of the Northern Command, feels that with the construction of the tunnel, troops deployed in the region can depend more on ground supplies rather than air. (AGENCIES)


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