Mumbai: IRB Infrastructure Developers on Wednesday said it expects to sign a concession agreement for the ambitious Rs 10,050-crore Zozila Pass tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir by March.
“We will be signing the concession agreement for the project by March and in the next six months, we hope to complete the financial closure,” chairman and managing director, Virendra Mhaiskar, told reporters on the sidelines of the Make in India Week here.
The company had bagged the contract from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for construction, operation and maintenance of the longest tunnel in South-East Asia, the Zozila Pass tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir.
The scope of the project includes constructing approaches on NH-1 (Srinagar-Sonmarg-Gumri Road) on design, build, finance, and operate and transfer (annuity) basis.
The project also involves construction of tunnel with a length of 14.08 km and approach road of 10.8 km with three vertical ventilation shafts, snow gallery of 700 metres and avalanche protection measures.
The construction of the tunnel is scheduled to be completed in seven years and the concession period is 22 years.
“This project has strategic and socio-economic importance as it will provide the much-needed all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir and Leh Ladakh, which remains cut off during the winter due to heavy snowfall, and hence (the project) assumes national importance,” Mhaiskar had said.
The company will receive semi-annual annuity of Rs 981 crore from the government, which will start after commissioning of the project, twice in a year till the end of the concession period.