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Zojila project

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The current summer is over and we are already in the autumn season. It means there would be no construction work on both sides of the Zojila tunnel in the coming months.

Although the government recently awarded a contract to a new construction company as the previous contractor after one year of work has left the job due to the difficulties on the financial and tough terrain front.

The government has promised that now the Zojila tunnel would be completed but it seems far-fetched given the experience of the last 15 years.

Though the central government is giving a huge push to the border area project, Zojila tunnel has assumed a lot of significance due to the recent standoff with Chinese army in Ladakh region.

Gadkari is known for keeping his promises and while speaking on the occasion he said that Zojila tunnel would be complete before the next Lok Sabha elections and added that Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate it.

The project was started by the Manmohan Singh government in 2013 and the contractors were given six year to complete the project. However, due to the tough terrain and due to complaints by the work force that had to work at an altitude of 4,000 metres, the work was stopped.

The project was first conceived in 2005. It was announced in 2013 after the Border Roads Organization (BRO) prepared its Detailed Project Report. Over the last seven years, the project has seen many roadblocks and the work could not be started. When the tenders were floated initially no private player came forward for the project of Zojila tunnel. The bids were invited three times but no private contracting firm came to participate.

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