IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd rallied by more than 9% on Monday morning. After the news broke out that, the company has emerged as the lowest bidder for the Rs 4,899 crore Zojila pass tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir, the stock saw its biggest single day rise since January. Through this project, IL&Fs aims to provide all-weather connectivity between Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Due to heavy snowfall in the region, the valley remains aloof from the rest of the country during winters. At an altitude of more than 11,000 feet above sea level, Zojila pass remains cut-off from the rest of Leh-Ladakh region. Due to avalanches and heavy rainfall, the region remains closed for close to half of the year. The Company, which is engaged in developing, designing, operating, maintaining surface transportation infrastructure projects had submitted the bid to National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) for operation and maintenance of a 2 lane bi-directional Tunnel.
The project had been awarded to IRB Infrastructure in March last year. After allegations of guidelines violation, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry had ordered “re-bidding” for the project in March last year. The road transport and highways minister, Nitin Gadkari, had said, “We understand the plight of people in Leh and Ladakh region who face severe crisis during winters when they are cut off from the rest of India for six months. We are committed to undertaking the project and will issue tenders by April. This year, around August 15, we will give appointment date for the important project and start work”.