The New Road To Ladakh: 4 Km Tunnel To Be Built At Shinku La Pass For All-Weather Connectivity
On completion, the Darcha-Padum-Nimu axis will be the shortest route to the border areas of the Union Territory and remain totally snow-free round the year, allowing a continuous supply of troops, equipment and rations to East Ladakh.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday (15 Feb) approved the construction of Shinku La Tunnel to provide all-weather connectivity between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh.
The 4.1-km-long tunnel will be completed by December 2025 at a cost of Rs 1,681 crore.
The new tunnel connecting Himachal Pradesh to Zanskar Valley in Ladakh will be built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) as part of 'Project Yojak'.
The Ministry of Defence through BRO is building the 297 km Darcha-Shinku La Pass-Padum-Nimu as an alternative road to connect Ladakh with Himachal Pradesh.
Also known as Manali-Padum-Nimu Road, it will be the third highway connecting Ladakh with the mainland after Srinagar-Kargil-Leh and Manali-Sarchu-Upshi-Leh highways.
At present, one has to travel 101 km from Manali to Darcha on Leh road and thereafter, take a turn from Darcha towards Shinku La Pass and enter Zanskar valley.
The commanding Shinku La Pass is an alternative entry point to Zanskar valley but is inaccessible from October to April due to heavy snow in the high region.
The ministry in 2021 decided to build a tunnel under the 5,091-metre-high Shinku La pass to make an all-weather axis from Manali to Leh via Darcha-Padum-Nimu alignment.
The tunnel under Shinku La pass will have its south portal at Shinku La and the north portal at Lakhang.
Once completed, the Darcha-Padum-Nimu axis will be the shortest route to the border areas of the Union Territory and remain totally snow-free round the year allowing a continuous supply of troops, equipment and rations to East Ladakh.
The new tunnel will be in addition to the under-construction Zoji-La tunnel, and the Atal Tunnel, which was opened in 2020.
The present Manali-Leh road goes over four high mountain passes of around 5,000-metre in height even after construction of Atal tunnel under Rohtang pass and remains snowed for at least two to three months during winter.
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