Government Cancels IRB Contract

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has cancelled a contract to build a $1.5 billion tunnel in Himalayas after the opposition politician  alleged irregularities in bidding for india most expensive road project.

IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, which recently won the bid to build South Asia’s longest Zoji La Pass tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir.The government has cancelled the award without mentioning any reason. 

In january 2016  IRB won the bid for an all-weather Zoji La Pass tunnel road, which was to connect Srinagar to Ladakh region that remains cut off during winters. At an estimated cost of Rs.10,050 crore, the 14.08-km tunnel was considered India’s most expensive road project, to be completed in seven years.

The Zoji La project had landed in a controversy as soon as it was awarded, with Congress leader Digvijaya Singh alleging that the promoters of IRB were close to Union roads minister Nitin Gadkari. Digvijaya Singh wrote to the prime minister and approached Central Vigilance Commission seeking a federal investigation into the matter. Gadkari has rejected all charges as false.

Extra info:
  • The project was awarded by the ministry of road transport and highways on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (annuity) basis. 
  • IRB Infrastructure Developers undertakes development of various infrastructure projects in the road sector through several special purpose vehicles(SPV).

So lets do:
  • Who is present Union Transport Minister?
  • Zoji La Pass tunnel located in which state?

Source – The Economics Times


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