In the picturesque landscape between the 18 km long section of the Zojila tunnel in Ladakh and the Z-Morh tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir, a mountain station is planned that is more enchanting than the world-famous Davos in Switzerland, said trade union minister Nitin Gadkari.
In this context, a meeting with the lieutenant governors of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir is planned for next week.
“We are planning to make a mountain town on the picturesque 18 km high terrain between the Zojila tunnel and the Z-Morh tunnel more attractive than Davos. The world-class project will change the dynamics of both Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir areas and create enormous jobs, ”Road Transport, Motorways and MSME Minister Gadkari told PTI.
Davos, a town in the Swiss Alps, is a popular ski area and hosts the annual World Economic Forum meeting.
Gadkari said a meeting is planned with the lieutenant governors of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir union areas to take land as justice.
“A nominal rupee 1 lease rent can be there and they will give land as equity,” the minister said, adding that a nice hill station could easily be built in the area where it can snow heavily.
Both the Leh-Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir governments will be partners and stakeholders in the project, he said.
Zojila Pass is located at an elevation of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Road and remains closed in winter due to heavy snowfall.
Gadkari started construction work on the Zojila Tunnel in October of this year and exuded confidence that the strategic project, which provides a year-round connection between the Srinagar Valley and Leh and will be completed ahead of the next elections in Lok Sabha. Highways and MSME ministers said.
The project has a six year completion plan.
Once completed, the tunnel, which is predicted to be the longest in Asia, would shorten travel time from 3 hours to 15 minutes as an avalanche drive takes place on the Srinagar-Leh section of the NH1.
The minister said his ministry could save the Treasury Department’s Rs 5,000 by lowering the cost of the project, which has risen to Rs 11,000.
Regarding the mountain station project, the minister said: “We will develop first-class infrastructure there, including roads, traffic, water and communications. We develop and sell the land by making plans for hotels, restaurants, resorts, convention centers and residential accommodation. This, in turn, could yield rich dividends. “
He said the hill station could be a great success story with public-private investment and will create a large number of jobs that will transform the place’s economy as it has the full potential of attracting large numbers of tourists including foreigners.
“The design and planning of the mountain station will be completed with a Swiss architect,” he said.
He exuded confidence that the project would be a viable endeavor as it would increase traffic for the tunnel and collect more tolls.
In January of this year, the government awarded the crucial Z-Morh tunnel project of Jammu and Kashmir, long forgotten after its abandonment, to the APCO Amarnathji Tunnelway, which is to be built for 2,379 rupees.
The Z-Morh Tunnel and Zojila Tunnels provide an all-weather road link to parts of Jammu and Kashmir that remain closed in winter due to heavy snowfall. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.