Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reached Leh on his day-long visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the first after the Centre announced suspension of operations against terror groups during the holy month of Ramzan.
This is the PM Modi’s second visit to Leh. He had visited here on August 12, 2014 and inaugurated a hydel power project.
After reaching the airport, the prime minister stopped on the road and met people who had come to welcome him.
The prime minister took to Twitter and wrote, “I thank the wonderful people of Leh for the warm welcome. I am delighted to be here.”
I thank the wonderful people of Leh for the warm welcome. I am delighted to be here. pic.twitter.com/XmogPkc64v
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 19, 2018
PM Modi will attend the commencement of work on Zojila Tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway at an event in Jive-tsal in Leh and will also lay foundation stone of Srinagar Ring Road and Jammu Ring Road in separate events today.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari will also be present at the events.
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 the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had approved the construction, operation and maintenance of this 2-lane bi-directional tunnel with Parallel Escape (Egress) tunnel between Baltal and Minamarg on the Srinagar-Leh section of NH-1A at a total cost of Rs 6,800 crore earlier this year.
The tunnel will also cut down the time taken to cross the Zojila pass from 3.5 hours to just 15 minutes, besides making the drive much safer and convenient, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.
PM Modi will also lay the foundation stone for Srinagar Ring Road and Jammu Ring Road at separate events at Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC), Srinagar and at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium in Jammu the same day.
The Ring Roads and Srinagar and Jammu are aimed at reducing traffic congestion at these cities and making road travel safer, faster, more convenient and more environment friendly.