Z-Morh Tunnel

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Z-Morh Tunnel is a road tunnel project and is the first step toward ensuring all-weather connectivity between Srinagar and Kargil in Ladakh region of India. The tunnel gets its name from its Z formation between Sonamarg and Gagangir.

The 6.5 km long road tunnel is being constructed near Gagangir or Gagangair in Ganderbal district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It has a high strategic importance for India. The tunnel would avoid the regions of snowfall and avalanches. Along with Zoji-la Tunnel (which is 22 km from Z-Morh tunnel towards Leh, the Z-Morh tunnel will ensure year-long road connectivity between Srinagar and Kargil which currently remains closed for about seven months due to snow.

The tunnel will also benefit social and economic development of region apart from boosting the tourism in Sonmarg region as the area witnesses heavy snow fall during winters.

Once all tunnels are put in place, the journey from Jammu to Leh will be reduced from 50 hours to about 30 hours. The entire stretch will become motorable throughout the year.


  • Z-Morh tunnel will be two lane bi-directional road tunnel between Gagangir and Sonmarg starting at 69.5 km stone and ending at 81.3 km stone on NH 1.
  • The tunnel will be 6.5 km long with parallel 6.5 km long escape tunnel.
  • The tunnel will be 10 m wide and the parallel egress to be used in emergency will be 3.5 m wide.
  • The length of the approach roads between the tunnel portals and NH 1 will be 6.05 km for both the ends.
  • The tunnel is designed for flow of 1,000 vehicles an hour at an approved maximum speed of 80 km per hour.
  • The tunnel is located at elevation of 2,637 metres (8,652 ft) above sea level.
  • The total capital cost of the project was approved at Rs.27.17 billion in 53rd Meeting of PPPAC held in July 2012. This includes Rs.36.48 crore for the cost of land, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.
  • The tunnel will help keep the highway open the entire year.

Project timeline[edit]

  • Oct 2012: Foundation stone laid. It was decided that BRO will build this tunnel connecting Gagangeer and Sonamarg. [1] [2]
  • Mar 2013: Letter of award for execution handed over.
  • May 2015: Work started.
  • Aug 2016: Project taken away from BRO and handed over to current executing agency IL&FS.
  • Dec 2016: 5% work completed.
  • Jun 2017: 200 m ventilation duct build till June 2017. Target completion date is April 2020.[3][4]
  • October 2017: Work progressing at slow pace.[5]
  • May 2018: Completion date advanced to late 2019[6] but the tunnel may not open even in 2020.[7]
  • June 2018: Work is progressing at fast pace. Concrete lining is expected to start from September 2018 onwards.

Construction agency[edit]

Its a USD 450 Million Dollar project being executed under PPP (DFBOT - Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer Mode) by Srinagar-Sonamarg Tunnelway Limited, an Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) owned company which is also concessionaire for the project.

Earlier, the project was envisaged to be implemented by BRO as owner and nodal agency however now it has been transferred to NHIDCL for implementation.[8] ITNL has been appointed as EPC contractor for the project which in turn has appointed Apco - Titan (Joint Venture) as civil construction contractor.

Apco Infratech Pvt Limited is a Lucknow based Indian Infrastructure company ( the company is also executing prestigious project of India Like Delhi- Meerut Expressway - Package - II &III) and Titan Limited is a company from Turkey engaged in Tunnel Construction, Technical consultancy and manufacturing of various Tunneling equipment’s that include underground drill, shotcrete machine etc.

Eptisa (Spain) has been appointed as authority engineer to supervise the project implementation.

The Tunnel is having Two Portals known as West ( Srinagar side) and East ( Sonamarg side) and a ventilation tunnel( Adit) in between. The tunneling is proposed through NATM in view of fragile Himalayan Geology. Effectively work started from April 2017 as season of 2016 was a complete wash out due to political disturbance in Kashmir Valley.

The tunneling is in progress from the West Portal and Adit. Latest technology and equipment’s has been deployed round the clock to complete the work on scheduled time line.


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Manoj Joshi. "Rahul Gandhi may lay foundation of Srinagar-Leh tunnel on Oct 4". India Today. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Work on Zoji-la Tunnel to begin on August 15". Kashmir Observer. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Work on Z-Morh tunnel to be completed by 2020: Officials". Business Standard. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "Zoji La Tunnel for all-weather Kashmir-Ladakh road; PM Modi to lay foundation stone of big infra project". Financial Express.
  7. ^ [3][dead link]
  8. ^ [4][dead link]