Leh (Jammu & Kashmir) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that his government is working to improve the connectivity in the Ladakh region that would not only benefit the tourism sector but will also reduce the distance between Delhi to Leh.
“Once Bilaspur-Manali-Leh rail line is completed, the distance from Delhi to Leh will be reduced. It will also benefit the tourism sector. Protected Area Permit’s validity has been increased to 15 days, now tourists will be able to enjoy their journey to Leh,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a public meeting at Leh.
Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the new terminal building of KBR Airport in Leh.
He said that Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council is now more powerful due to which people of the region will not have to knock at Delhi’s door for everything.
“I am happy that changes have been made to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Act, and the council has been given more rights concerning the expenditures. Now the Autonomous Council releases the money sent for the region’s development,” said Prime Minister Modi.
He also inaugurated the University of Ladakh at Leh, the first ever University in Ladakh region, established under the University of Ladakh Act 2018. It will be a cluster University comprising of degree colleges of Leh, Kargil, Nubra, Zanskar, Drass and Khaltsi with administrative offices at Leh and Kargil.
“Today this cluster University has been launched. It will use the infrastructures of degree colleges running at Nubra, Leh, Zanskar and Kargil. For the convenience of students the administrative offices would be set up in Leh and Kargil,” the PM said.
The Prime Minister also opened new tourist and trekking routes in Ladakh. It offers diverse tourist activities in Ladakh and will result in more tourist flow. It will also open better livelihood opportunities to many villages.
“The Leh and Ladakh region is an important place in the world for spirituality, art and culture, natural beauty and adventure sports. For the development of tourism in the area the government has taken another important step and has decided to open five new tracking routes,” said the Prime Minister.
During the one-day visit, his fifth since becoming the Prime Minister in 2014, Modi will travel to all the three regions of the state – Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu and lay foundation stones for a host of projects during the trip. The significant projects include laying of foundation stones for the AIIMS – one each in Srinagar and Jammu.In May last year, PM inaugurated and dedicated the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydropower project to the nation.
Prime Minister Modi also unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of work on the Zojila Tunnel. The 14-km-long Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel.
The cabinet committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Modi, had approved the construction, operation and maintenance of this tunnel between Baltal and Minamarg, on the Srinagar-Leh section of National Highway-1A, at a total cost of Rs. 6,800 crore earlier last year.
The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. It will cut down the time taken to cross the Zojila pass from the present three and a half hours to just fifteen minutes.
Also, in April 2017 the Prime Minister inaugurated India’s longest Highway tunnel on NH-44 at Jammu and Kashmir.