By A O News Service
ITANAGAR, Sept 04: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu inspected two-km-long on-going works of Sela Pass tunnel on way to Tawang. The strategic tunnel located at a height of 13,700 feet is being executed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
Khandu on his Twitter hanndle wrote, “Happy to notice the work progress, all work will be completed by end of 2021.”
The tunnel is expected to give defence forces better access to China border and is likely to cut short the distance to the Indo-China border through Tawang by 10 km.
After the completion of the tunnel, the security forces will access an all-weather road in the western region of Arunachal Pradesh throughout the year.
The new alignment of the road to Tawang involves 12.37-km and the construction of two tunnels to bypass Sela and a number of hairpin bends. The altitude of the new alignment will vary between 11,000 and 12,000 feet.
The BRO is constructing two tunnels through Sela Pass, which would reduce travel time at least by an hour. The two tunnels of length 475 metres and 1790 metres each through Sela-Chabrela ridge meeting the existing Balipara-Chaudur-Tawang road on Nurarang side, as approved by Project Vartak.
Moreover, the tunnels would ensure that National Highway-13 and especially the 171-km stretch between Bomdila and Tawang, remains accessible in all weather conditions.
The project included widening of existing single lane road to NH double lane specifications from Baisaki and then taking off a greenfield alignment of length 12.37 km. Due to construction of tunnels across Sela pass the road length would be reduced and obviate high altitude, steep gradient and hair pin bends on either side of Sela pass which, would bring relief to commuters as lot of hardships have to be faced in winter season due to snowfall at on Sela Pass.
“Sela tunnel will add to the tourist potential of Tawang and attract more tourists making Tawang a more popular destination in North East region. Moreover, these infrastructures would serve as boon for Indian Army in winters when heavy snowfall hinders connectivity, particularly through Sela Pass.
There is a shorter but less used road along the Bhutan border via Orang in Assam and Kalaktang in Arunachal Pradesh.