CCEA nods Rs.6,808 cr longest tunnel in Asia

    Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
    Giving its go ahead signal to the 14-km long and a longest tunnel in Asia, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to the construction, operation and maintenance of two-lane, bi-directional Zojila Tunnel, aimed at providing all-weather connectivity in the Srinagar-Kargil and Leh regions. The cost of the project is Rs.6,808.69 crore, including the cost towards land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities as well as maintenance and operation cost of tunnel for four years. For the mega tunnel project, IL&FS, which is already constructing two projects in the region, is the lowest bidder, with a civil construction project cost of Rs.4,899.42 crore even lower than the government's estimate of about Rs.5,482 crore. Also the tunnel will be constructed in the 'second least inhabitable region' in the world, said Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, adding that it is in an area which has sub-zero temperatures and the government had great difficulty finding bidders for the project. The tunnel, on completion, would lead to enormous boost in employment as local businesses get linked to the national market and tourists will be able to visit the region round the year.
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