Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) became the lowest bidder (L-1) for the construction of Zojila Pass Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. MEIL topped the list by quoting Rs. 4,509 crore for the project, less than other companies in the bid. Other two bidders included Larsen & Toubro and Icron International JV.
The National Highways and Industrial Development Corporation (NHIDCL) opened the bids for the project on Friday, which has remained stuck for over six years now.
The project holds strategic significance as Zojila Pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway and remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall.
“The project is to be constructed in 2 divisions in two sections of about 33 kilometers. The first section is to develop by constructing the 18.50-kilometer road. In the second section, the Zojila Tunnel is to be built in the shape of a horseshoe shape of 14.15 km as a two-road lane of 9.5 meters wide and 7.57 meters high,” the Hyderabad-headquartered company said in a statement. It also said, “This whole project has to be executed in two parts. The first part is 18.50 kilometers of road and the second part is 14.15 kilometers as a tunnel.”
The company mentioned that this complex project would have to be completed in just 72 months.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in May 2018 laid the foundation stone for the Rs 6,800 crore project, billed as Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel, in Jammu and Kashmir. However, barely months after the foundation, the NHIDCL on January 15, 2019, terminated the contract awarded to troubled IL&FS group and IL&FS Transportation after it abandoned the project citing financial problems.