Shimla, Dec 3 (UNI) Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's old friend Tashi Dawa passed away after a brief illness, family sources said.
He was 83 and is survived by wife and two sons besides grandsons and daughters.
Dawa is credited with convincing the former prime minister for beginning work on the Rohtang Tunnel, which would connect Lahaul Valley with Manali in Kullu district.
The sources said the two became friends during an officers training class, organised by the RSS in 1942.
Dawa, following a deterioration in his health, was being brought to Kullu by road from Keylong, headquarter of the tribal district Lahaul Spiti, when he breathed his last at about 1430 hrs yesterday.
The sources said his body had been taken back to his native village of Dholang where his last rites would be performed as per Buddhist traditions.