Construction of Z-Morh tunnel halted due to financial crunch of executing agency

Work on underground passage way on Srinagar-Leh Highway near Sonamarg suspended from past 2 months

IRFAN RAINA
Ganderbal, Publish Date: Sep 23 2018 11:49PM | Updated Date: Sep 23 2018 11:49PM
Construction of Z-Morh tunnel halted due to financial crunch of executing agencyConstruction of Z-Morh tunnel halted due to financial crunch of executing agency

Ganderbal, Sep 23: Work on the critical 6.5 km Z-Morh tunnel being constructed on Srinagar-Leh Highway near Gagangear, Sonamarg in Ganderbal district has been halted as the executing agency IL&FS is facing a cash crunch.

The halt of construction work on the tunnel, which is supposed to make the Sonamarg tourist resort accessible throughout the year and ease the traffic to the Ladakh area of the state, has risen questions on the timely completion of this critical project as per the schedule. 

"Work on the 6.5 Km Z-Morh tunnel near Gagangeer on Srinagar-Leh highway has come to a halt as the executing agency (IL&FS) has failed to clear the dues of the construction company engaged by the agency, an official told Greater Kashmir

Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) transportation had bagged the contract of construction of this Rs  2700 crore project and has further engaged APCO Titan Company as a contractor for the  construction of the tunnel.

"Work on the 6.5 Km Z-Morh tunnel near Gagangeer on Srinagar-Leh highway has come to a halt as the executing agency (IL&FS) has failed to clear the dues of the construction company  (APCO Titan Company) engaged by the agency due to non-payment of dues,” a highly informed sources told Greater Kashmir. 

 For the past two months no activity has taken place. The work has come to a halt due to some financial constraints as the executing agency IL&FS has failed to release the payment in favour of APCO, as per sources. 

"The current crisis in IL&FS has baffled us as the construction work has been hit by the financial constraints the executing agency is facing," said another source, who is involved in the construction.

"IL&FS has failed to release our dues due to which we have suspended the work," an official of APCO construction company said, confirming the work has been stopped.

"The work has been halted and no construction work has been done for past two months now," he added.

An official of the IL&FS also admitted that there are some “financial constraints” due to which there was a delay in releasing the payments. 

However he said that the company at higher level are on job to come out of this situation.

A source said that the IL&FS has now tied up with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) which is likely to invest more into the company to defuse the “financial crunch” being faced by the IL&FS. 

Reports said that the Reserve Bank of India will meet with shareholders IL&FS this week, as the group continues to default on its debt obligations.

A New Delhi based official of APCO constructions told this newspaper that there were some issues with the IL&FS who are facing financial crisis right now and were unable to pay our dues due to which we were forced to suspend work, adding that they are awaiting response from the executing agency.

The construction work on Z-Morh tunnel commenced in May 2015 and the completion period for the project is five years. Sources said that the frequent halting and slow pace of work on this vital project mars its aim, adding that if the work is carried on the same pace the project will take more time and will miss its deadline that is May 2020.

Deputy commissioner, Ganderbal, Piyush Singla told Greater Kashmir that a high level meeting was held recently in which the two construction companies were asked to sort out the issues on priority.

He however said that the final call about the construction work has to be taken by the NHDCL and the executing agency. 

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