The proposed works for the 14km-long, single-tube, bi-directional tunnel will also include drainage, loop roads, vehicle hard standing area, avalanche protection structures, retaining walls and protection works.

However, the project has a history of delays, with bids having been invited numerous 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 company ran into financial trouble.  ¬¬¬

Bids have also been invited for an 18.5km connecting road between the proposed Zojila tunnel and the Z-Morh tunnel currently under construction. Building the road will require the construction of two twin-tube unidirectional tunnels totalling nearly 2.4km at Nilghar.

Together, the government-funded Zojila and connecting road contracts are valued at around Rs4,430 crore (USD585m), said the Economic Times of India.