Jammu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Zojila tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir after August 15, state BJP Chief Sat Sharma said on Thursday.
The project aims at providing all-weather connectivity between Kashmir valley and Ladakh, which remains cut-off from the rest of the world during winters due to heavy snowfall. Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578-ft on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway which remains closed during winters (December to April) due to heavy snowfall and avalanches cutting off Leh-Ladakh region from Kashmir. The Prime Minster is very focused for the development of this frontier district, Sharma said at a function in Kargil to mark three years of the NDA government. IL&FS Transportation, which won the tender for Zojila tunnel project in re-bidding, had said on July 28 that it has emerged as the lowest bidder for Rs 4,899 crore Zojila pass tunnel.
On March 1 last year, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry had ordered re-bidding for the project awarded to IRB Infrastructure. Sharma, while thanking PM Modi and Union Minster for Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari, requested the Centre for ensuring the completion of the Zojila Tunnel, a long pending demand of the locals, at the earliest so that Kargil could also flourish like other parts of the country. The BJP’s state unit chief, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the reach of flagship schemes of the NDA government in Kargil and there proper implementation.