Arunachal Pradesh's new tunnel to set world record, know what's special about it

Itanagar: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday virtually started work on the last phase of the 12 km long Sela tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh. The Defence Minister pressed the button from the National War Memorial in Delhi and the final phase of the project began with the blast in the tunnel. The construction work of the Sela Tunnel is likely to be completed by June 2022.

The tunnel passes through the Sela Pass and is expected to reduce the distance from Tawang to the China border by 10 km on completion of the project. The tunnel will reduce travel time between Tezpur in Assam and the 4 corps headquarters of the Army at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh by at least an hour. That is why it is being considered strategically extremely important. The Sela tunnel being constructed through the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will have the world's longest two-lane road tunnel at an altitude of more than 13,000 feet on completion. It is being manufactured using the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM). It's very down the snow line, which makes it accessible throughout all seasons.

The construction of the tunnel began on April 01, 2019, with the first explosion on October 31, 2019. The project is running at a faster pace than scheduled even after COVID-19 restrictions and adverse weather conditions. It is likely to end by June-August 2022. The tunnel will increase Tawang's tourism capacity and attract more tourists. Due to the tunnel, it will become a more popular destination in the North East region. This is likely to contribute not only to security but also to the socio-economic development of the region.

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