21,000 crore allocated for Ladakh in PM’s 80,000 crore package

Jammu, November 21: In the Prime Minister’s Rs 80,000-crore financial package for the state, nearly Rs 21,000 crore has been allocated as the Ladakh’s share for several projects in the region.

Since the region remains cut from the other parts of the county due to the closure of the 434-km-long Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway and the 474-km-long Manali-Leh highway for almost six months in winters. The  main project to be undertaken with these funds will be an all-weather road to the region. Also, the power sector in this region will also be given boost. The package has made an allocation for the much-awaited 375-km Leh-Kargil-Srinagar Transmission System.

Rs 9,090 crore has also been sanctioned for the state government for construction of the 13-km-long tunnel between Baltal and Minamarg that will provide an all-weather road between Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, and Leh. This proposed tunnel will pass through Zojila, which serves as the gateway to the Ladakh region.

The central government has allocated an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crores for another major project to improve road connectivity in Ladakh. In this project, tunnels will be constructed at Lachulunga Pass and Tagland Pass (Manali-Leh). There is also mention of double-laning of the Kargil-Zanskar road to be constructed at a cost of Rs 4,200 crore project.

Funds have also been allocated for completion of the critical 292-km Nimu-Padum-Darcha road via Shinkunla, which is crucial to convert the Manali-Leh highway into an all-weather road. The deadline for the completion of the road has been set for March 2021 with the estimated cost of Rs 286 crore.

The centre has also sanctioned Rs 1800 crore for the 375-km Leh-Kargil-Srinagar transmission line that will ensure round-the-clock power supply in the region. The foundation stone of the transmission line was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 12, this year.

The state has also been directed to harness solar power in the Ladakh region which has the potential of producing 111-GW electricity. A senior official of Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency explained, “Two solar projects of 20 MW generation capacity each in Kargil and Leh have also been approved under the package. These projects will cost nearly Rs 720 crore (Rs 360 crore each).”

Construction of cold storage facilities at Leh and Kargil, and 50% subsidy support for setting up solar driers are other major projects to be undertaken in the arid region.

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