Construction work on Zojila tunnel is likely to resume this year after the government of India invited fresh bids from companies.
Contract of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), which had been allotted the Rs 6,809 crore contract in 2017, was cancelled in January this year after it ran into financial troubles.
Earlier, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) had cancelled the bid of IRB Infrastructure.
The fresh bid invited by the NHIDCL has put the estimated cost of construction at Rs 4899 crore and the work is to be completed in seven years. The 14-km-long tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar and Ladakh. At present, the road to Ladakh remains closed for winter months due to snow.
For the fresh bid, an NHIDCL official said, the last date for receiving queries is 18 March 2019, while the bid submission begins 1 April and the bid due date is 8 April. The bids will be opened on 9 April. On May 16 last year, Prime Minister NarendraModi inaugurated the work on the tunnel project billed as the Asia's longest bi-directional tunnel. Unveiling a plaque on the occasion, the PM had said, "Zojila tunnel is not merely a tunnel but a modern day marvel."