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Union Minister meets Ladakh LG, discusses Zojila tunnel project

LEH: Union Minister G Krishna Reddy and Ladakh Lt Governor R K Mathur discussed the development of infrastructure in the region on Tuesday, including the construction of the Zojila tunnel for all-year connectivity between Leh and Srinagar.

The tunnel project holds strategic significance as Zojila Pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the 434-km Srinagar-Kargil-Leh national highway and remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall, cutting off Ladakh region from Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2018 laid the foundation stone for the project, billed as the Asia''s longest bi-directional tunnel.

The project, which would cut down the 3.5-hour long drive through the mountainous Zojila Pass to just 15 minutes, is expected to be completed in seven years.

The Union minister of state for home and the Ladakh LG also discussed regular civilian flight services to Kargil, improving internal road and communication and setting up solar power plants to harness the abundant solar energy available in Ladakh.

An official spokesperson said they reviewed the status of government initiatives on higher education including Ladakh University, Central University, Medical College and Engineering College, Institute of Hotel Management and Institute of Sowa Rigpa.

"The action being taken on creating new infrastructure and adequately equipping the institutes with educational tools and materials was emphasized," he said.

They discussed setting up of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The higher potential areas in Ladakh include food processing, handloom, handicrafts and Pashmina and providing services to the Army also came up for detailed discussion during the meeting at Raj Niwas on Monday evening, the spokesperson said.

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PTI