NEW DELHI: The work on significant Sela tunnel excavation is to begin this month-end. The work on the approach routes for the tunnel connecting the rest of India with Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh is almost finished.
“By the end of this month (September) hopefully the work on the tunnel will start.” told an officer aware of the work going on in Arunachal Pradesh.
The work on the Northern approach, about 400 meters, is nearing end and the Southern approach, about 8 kms, is complete. The slope work on the Northern approach is going on and once it is over the work of drilling the rock will begin, added the officer quoted above. The work has been deliberately concentrated towards the Northern approach as it won’t stop due to the nearing snowfall season.
The importance of the tunnel can be understood from the fact that snowfall and avalanche often stop people and military personnel looking after the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for long on the lone highway which connects Tawang with Guwahati and the rest of the country in winters. Not even helicopters can ply into that area due to bad weather conditions.
The tunnel once complete will provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang and forward areas as it is going to avoid all the avalanche prone and snowfall areas. It will reduce the travelling time from Tezpur to Tawang by more than one hour as the travellers would be able to avoid the dangerous snow-covered 13,700 feet high Sela top.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for this important Project on 09th Feb 2019. “It is a priority project for the government and it will complete in 36 months.” said the officer.
Tawang town inhabited by more than 50,000 people, called as the little Tibet by China, is one of the contentious areas which China claims as its own.
The Project costing Rs. 687 Crore being constructed by the Border Roads Organisation would be completed in the next three years. The entire project sanctioned in October 2018 covers a total distance of 12.04 Kms which consist of two tunnels of 1790mtrs and 475 mtrs with approach roads of 9.75 Km.