The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is building two tunnels in Arunachal Pradesh, the Sela Tunnel and the Nechiphu Tunnel. These tunnels will make it more comfortable to reach remote areas of the state, which will help with logistics and security.
Both of these tunnels are challenging projects, but the BRO is making good progress. The Sela Tunnel is expected to be completed in 2023, and the Nechiphu Tunnel is expected to be completed in 2024.
Sela Tunnel: World’s Longest Twin-lane Tunnel
The Sela tunnel, a monumental engineering feat, is on track to be completed by the end of September.
The Sela Tunnel is the longest bi-lane tunnel in the world at an altitude of over 13,000 feet.
It is being built on the Trans-Arunachal Highway, which connects Assam and Tawang.
The tunnel will help to reduce travel time between these two places and will also make the road safer in winter when the pass is often blocked by snow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for this ₹700 crore project in February 2019.
Nechiphu Tunnel to Inaugurate Soon
In addition to the world’s longest twin-lane tunnel, the Nechiphu tunnel project is gearing up for inauguration next week in September 2023.
Situated at a height of 5,700 feet on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) road in West Kameng, this 500-meter tunnel is poised to enhance connectivity to the region.
Delays in the Sela tunnel’s completion were primarily caused by adverse weather conditions, including cloudbursts and landslides during the rainy season. Nevertheless, the tunnel is now nearing its finish line, with inauguration plans awaiting confirmation from the defense ministry.
Significant Impact on Winter Connectivity
The Sela Tunnel is important because it will help people get to Tawang all year round. In the past, the road to Tawang was closed during the winter because of snow.
This meant that people could not travel to Tawang, and supplies could not be sent there. The Sela Tunnel will make it possible to travel to Tawang all year round, which will be good for the people of Tawang and for the Indian military.
A Project of Complexity and Precision
The Sela tunnel project comprises Tunnel 1, spanning 980 meters, and Tunnel 2, a 1,555-meter twin-tube tunnel.
These tunnels have been constructed through two ridges west of Sela.
The detailed construction involves modern Austrian tunneling techniques, carefully considering rock behavior and designing tunnel support accordingly.
Infrastructure Development in High Gear
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will remotely inaugurate the Nechiphu tunnel on September 12, coinciding with the unveiling of numerous other infrastructure projects by the BRO.
These developments demonstrate India’s commitment to bolstering military operations and countering Chinese infrastructure initiatives along the contested border.
Accelerating Infrastructure Growth
The BRO, at the forefront of India’s border infrastructure expansion, aims to complete its ₹214 crore project by September 2025.
In recent years, it has expedited infrastructure construction, completing 103 projects in forward areas last year alone.
The organization remains committed to completing 150 more projects by the year’s end, reflecting an impressive acceleration in construction efforts.
Strengthening India’s Frontiers
Official data highlights the BRO’s intensified efforts, showcasing an increase in road construction, particularly in Ladakh.
Key projects include the Nimu-Padam-Darcha road, the Chushul-Dungti-Fukche-Demchok road, and the Likaru-Mig La-Fukche road.
As India continues to enhance its border infrastructure, these tunnels and roads play a pivotal role in reinforcing security and connectivity in the region. Stay tuned for more updates on India’s progress in this vital endeavor.
Summary or Key Points For Competitive Exam
☛ BRO nearing completion of the Sela tunnel, the world’s longest twin-lane tunnel above 13,000 ft in Arunachal Pradesh.
☛ Aims to enable faster deployment of troops and equipment to Tawang.
☛ Nechiphu tunnel, enhancing connectivity in the region, is set to be inaugurated soon.
☛ Delays in Sela tunnel due to cloudbursts and landslides; now near completion.
☛ New tunnel to reduce travel time to Tawang by at least one hour and provide all-weather connectivity.
☛ The project includes Tunnel 1 (980 m) and Tunnel 2 (1,555 m twin tube tunnel) along with two roads.
☛ Nechiphu tunnel to be remotely inaugurated by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on September 12.
☛ BRO is involved in various infrastructure projects including the Nyoma fighter base in Ladakh.
☛ BRO aims to complete a ₹214 crore project by September 2025.
Sela Tunnel in a Nutshell
|Location||Sela Pass, Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh|
|Altitude||13,000 ft (3,962 m)|
|Purpose||To provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang|
|Cost||₹700 crore (US$92 million)|
|Status||Under construction, expected to be completed by September 2023|
|Contractor||Patel Engineering Ltd.|
|Designation||The World’s Longest bi-lane tunnel|
|Built by||Border Roads Organisation (BRO)|