Zo-Jila Tunnel: PDP Demands Work From Both Sides

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Srinagar – Welcoming the decision to start work on the Zojilla tunnel on Srinagar Ladakh Highway, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today reiterated its demand to take up the work on both sides of the pass.

In a statement here chief spokesman of the party Naeem Akhtar said it was a welcome development that the union cabinet had given a go ahead to the prestigious project that would benefit the state immensely. He said the Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh region would undergo a social and developmental transformation as a result of an all weather road link which would have a salutary impact on entire state.

Akhtar said Zojilla tunnel is a crucial feature of the connectivity plan for the state which would open up all the regions of state to improved economic opportunities and access to health and educational facilities. He said tourism would become a chief economic activity once the plan was implemented, covering all segments of society.

Referring to a recent meeting the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had recently held with the union transport minister, Akhtar said she had stressed upon the minister that work on the tunnel be taken up from both ends to cut down the construction period. He said there was a need also to make it mandatory for the executing agencies to give priority to local labor both for skilled and non skilled jobs.

Akhtar said inter regional connectivity in the state was a thrust area of PDP’s vision of growth for the state. The construction of Mughal road had begun this process but it needed to be taken to next level by constructing a tunnel on this vital link between two regions of the state to meke it an all weather facility. Similarly the party aims at constructing a tunnel on the Srinagar Anantnag Kishtwar road at Sinthan pass to make it traffic worthy throughout the year.

The PDP spokesman said tunnels needed to be constructed across the Sadhna pass to connect Karnah with the valley and across Razdan pass to connect Gurez with Bandipur. He said the connectivity plan prepared by PDP would resolve many issues of lopsided development and create a congenial political and social atmosphere that could lead to a better understanding between communities residing in different areas that are isolated as a result of difficult topography.

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