Infrastructure Current Affairs - 2020

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Ministry of Road Transport & Highways inks MoU with IL&FS for construction of Zojila tunnel

The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has inked MoU with IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of the 14.150 km long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.

This would be India’s longest road tunnel and longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. On completion, the tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.

Zojila Tunnel Project

The project aims at construction of 14.150 km long two lane bidirectional single tube tunnel with parallel 14.200 km long egress tunnel between Baltaland Minamarg in J&K with total capital cost of Rs. 6808 crore. The duration for construction of the project is 7 years.

Its main objective is to provide all whether connectivity to strategically important Leh region in J&K which at moment is limited to 6 months in year because of snow on passes and threat of avalanches.

It will be first of its kind tunnel in such geographical area. It will have all modern technical safety arrangements such as cut and cross ventilation system, two axial fans, uninterrupted power supply, fully transverse ventilation system, CCTV monitoring, variable messaging boards, traffic logging equipment, tunnel radio, emergency telephone system etc.


The project has strategic and socio-economic importance and will be instrument for development of economically backward districts in J&K. It will also bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions. This project, along with other ongoing projects like 6.5 km long Z-Morh tunnel at Gagangir will ensure safe, fast and cheap all weather connectivity between Kashmir and Ladakh. They will also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. It will also boost employment as local businesses will get linked to national market and region will receive round the year tourist traffic.

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First NIIF investment: To set up $3-billion platform with DP World

The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has made its first investment by partnering with DP World to create $3-billion investment platform for ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India.

The platform will invest in opportunities in ports sector and beyond sea ports into areas such as river ports and transportation, port-led special economic zones, freight corridors, inland container terminals, and logistics infrastructure including cold storage.


Efficient logistics and cargo movement are critical components for continued growth and development of Indian economy and particularly the manufacturing sector. The platform will reduce the cost of moving cargo between port and origin and destination.


In October 2017, Government had secured investment commitment of up to $1 billion from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). It was first institutional investor in NIIF Master Fund and shareholder in Fund’s investment management company — the National Investment and Infrastructure Limited. Apart from ADIA, four domestic institutional investors also be joined the NIIF Master Fund including ICICI Bank, HDFC Group, , Kotak Mahindra Life and Axis Bank.

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIFF)

NIIF was set up in December 2015 to catalyse funding into the country’s infrastructure sector. It has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a Category II Alternate Investment Fund.

It has a targeted corpus of Rs 40,000 crore to be raised over the years — 49% of it will be funded by government at any given point of time. The remaining 51% will be raised from domestic and global investors, including international pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, multilateral/bilateral investors.

It has been set up as a fund of funds structure with aim to generate risk adjusted returns for its investors alongside promoting infrastructure development. Its Governing Council us chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already been set up to act as an advisory council to the NIIF.

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