In order to provide all-weather connectivity to people in the Leh-Ladakh region, the Indian government plans to build the longest road tunnel in Southeast Asia, the Zojila pass. With an estimated cost of Rs. 10,000-crore, the project has multiple crucial implications. Besides providing all-weather connectivity to the people, the Zojila pass also aims to provide a major boost to trade and commerce in the region.
Zojila pass, situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway, remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall and avalanches, cutting the Leh-Ladakh region from Kashmir.
After several extensions and rebidding of the project, the highways ministry awarded the work to Infrastructure Developers Ltd., an infrastructure major to ensure an early start to building of the 14.1 km tunnel through tough terrain. IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd., one of the largest Build–operate–transfer (BOT) road developers in India, has won the project for the construction, operation and maintenance of the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia, Zojila Pass Tunnel, in Jammu and Kashmir. The tunnel project is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Rs 80,000-crore development package for Jammu and Kashmir, which he had announced in November 2015.