In a bid to discuss developmental projects of Ladakh, Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur on Wednesday met Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi. This development comes a month after Nitin Gadkari virtually initiated the ‘first blast’ of Zojila Tunnel project on October 14,
Lt. Guv Mathur thanked Nitin Gadkari for the sanction and launch of the work on the Zojila tunnel. In response, Gadkari assured that the project shall be completed in a few years. They further discussed other issues of road connectivity including national highways, internal roads in Ladakh, need for additional tunnels and assistance to local MSMEs.
R K Mathur further sought Nitin Gadkari's help in exploiting the full economic potential of Pashmina produced in Ladakh. He stressed upon the need to support the promotion of Pashmina as a means of rural livelihood and a good revenue-generating avenue for youth.
Zojila Tunnel is an ambitious project that ensures all-weather connectivity between Srinagar and Leh. Calling it a watershed moment in the road history of J&K and Ladakh, Minister of Road Transport & Highways said that the geo-sensitive Zojila stretch is strategically important to the defence of our country.
Earlier, Gadkari had said that the Zojila tunnel will not only provide all-weather connectivity but will also further strengthen the economic and social-cultural integration of both the Union Territories.
All these developments come at the backdrop of the special package of Rs 520 crore approved by the Union Cabinet for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh under the National Rural Livelihood Mission, saying it will further 'ease of living' for the people there.
PM Modi also said the STARS project, which was also approved by the Cabinet, strengthens the efforts to transform the education sector. The Cabinet has approved a special package of Rs 520 crore for the two UTs for a period of five years till financial year 2023-24 and decided to ensure funding of DAY-NRLM in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on a demand-driven basis without linking allocation with poverty ratio during this extended period, the Rural Development Ministry said in a statement.