Mumbai-based IRB Infrastructure Developers has been awarded the Rs100.5bn ($1.5bn) Zoji La Pass tunnel road project in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has given a letter of award to the firm, which will construct, operate and maintain the Zoji La Pass tunnel.
Considered to be the longest in South Asia, this 14.08km tunnel will provide connectivity during all weathers between the J&K regions and Leh Ladakh. The connectivity between these places usually remain cut off in colder seasons due to heavy snowfall.
The project will be constructed in a period of seven years and the concession period is 22 years.
“This project has strategic and socioeconomic importance.”
The build-operate-transfer (BOT) road developer will also construct about 10.8km of approach roads on NH-1 (Srinagar-Sonmarg-Gumri road).
Following the completion of construction, the ministry will give payment of Rs9.81bn ($148m) to the firm every six months.
The final bidding round saw the sole participation of IRB. During the initial round, a few firms such as IL&FS Transportation and HCC had taken part, reported Livemint.com.
IRB Infrastructure chairman and managing director Virendra Mhaiskar was quoted by Business Standard as saying: “This project has strategic and socioeconomic importance. It will provide all-weather connectivity between J&K and Leh-Ladakh.”
With this contract, IRB has widened its base to the ninth state in India. Its order book size has risen to Rs164.3bn ($2.46bn).