July 2017 News

IL&FS Gets Zojila Tunnel Project

28 July 2017

New Delhi: IL&FS Transportation today said it has emerged as the lowest bidder for Rs 4,899 crore Zojila pass tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir. Last year, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry had ordered 'rebidding' for the project awarded to IRB Infrastructure. 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. 'We wish to inform that the company has emerged as the Lowest Bidder for the aforesaid (Zojila tunnel) Project. The company had quoted an amount of Rs 4,899.42 crore to be constructed in a period of 2,555 days (7 years),' IL&FS Transportation said in a filing to the BSE. 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 company had submitted the bid to the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) for construction, operation and maintenance of 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel with parallel escape tunnel on Srinagar-Leh section in Jammu & Kashmir on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode,' it said. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had earlier this year said that the government will re-issue tenders for the strategic Zojila pass tunnel by April and work will commence by August. 'We understand the plight of the people in Leh and Ladakh region who face severe crisis during winters when they are cut off from the rest of India for six months. We are committed to undertaking the project and will issue tenders by April. This year, around August 15, we will give appointment date for the important project and start work,' Gadkari had said. On March 1 last year, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry had ordered 're-bidding' for the project, which had been awarded to IRB Infrastructure. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting, chaired by Gadkari, after Congress leader Digvijay Singh alleged that guidelines were violated while awarding the contract. The Road Transport and Highways Ministry, however, had denied the charges.