Chairman J&K Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali today met Union Minister for Roads, Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari and conveyed the concern of the people of Ladakh region over the delay in start of work on the proposed Zojila tunnel on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road.
The Chairman apprised the union minister that the people of Kargil and Leh districts were highly grateful to the Government of India for sanctioning of the tunnel and want the work on the prestigious project to start soon. “The people of the frontier region are indebted to you for bidding of Zojilla Tunnel and the early allotment of its work to some construction agency, but the cancellation of the same has pained them,” Haji Anayat informed the Minister. He said that the people of the region are very upset due to the cancellation of the tender following which their long pending demand, which seemed to be coming through, has been delayed. He requested for early rebidding of the project in the larger interest of the people of far flung areas who suffer a lot due to remaining cut-off from the rest of the country for about seven months a year.
Responding to the demand, Gadkari said that central government was abreast with the problems of the people of Ladakh and concerted efforts are being made to take up the construction of the vital tunnel at the earliest. He assured that the rebidding process will be completed in next three months, while the work will be expedited keeping in view the short working season in the region.
The LC Chairman also requested for relaxation of norms in favour of contractors of Kargil in various projects of the central government being taken up in Ladakh region, particularly the construction of national highway-301.
The Minister also assured that on the issue of roads under CRF, generous help would be extended for Ladakh region and the road projects proposed by the LC Chairman, under CRF will be executed soon including those which he have been proposed earlier.
Meanwhile the LC Chairman also met Union Defence Minister Manohar Parikar and sought airlifting of passengers of Ladakh stranded in Jammu and Srinagar to their respective destinations.
He urged the defence Minister to start special air sorties of Indian Air Force (IAF) from both capital cities so that the stranded people do not suffer any more.
The Defence Minister assured the LC Chairman that an IAF IL-76 plane would be provided within a couple of days for airlifting of the Ladakh passengers.