New Delhi, 14 October
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh virtually conducted the last successful detonation of the Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh and flagged off the 20,000-km-long motorized operation of the BRO on Thursday.
Virtual Breakthrough Blast and Flag-off was conducted by the Minister at the National War Memorial here.
Singh said the Sela Tunnel would be the world’s largest two-lane tunnel at an altitude of over 13,000 feet. He also appreciated the work done by the Border Roads Organization (BRO) while handling this project.
He said that the tunnel would not only strengthen the national security but would also enhance the transport facilities for the local people and consequently boost their socio-economic status.
Singh said, “This tunnel, built with state-of-the-art features, will prove to be a lifeline not only for Tawang but for the entire Arunachal Pradesh.
The tunnel passes through the Sela Pass and is expected to reduce the distance by 10 km to the China border through Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh. The construction work of the tunnel is expected to be completed by June 2022.
The Defense Minister said, “Successful blasting of Sela Main Tunnel shows your (BRO’s) hard work and commitment towards the country’s security and socio-economic development.”
He also flagged off the motorcycle campaign of BRO.
Singh said 75 BRO and Army personnel will take part in the motorcycle campaign, which will cover a distance of 20,000 km passing through several states and union territories.
The Sela tunnel will cut the travel time between the Army’s 4 Corps headquarters at Tezpur and Tawang in Assam by at least an hour.
In addition, it will ensure that National Highway 13, especially the 171 km stretch between Bomdila and Tawang, remains accessible in all weather.
In the Budget for 2018-19, former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the Centre’s plan to build a tunnel through the Sela Pass, located at an altitude of 13,700 feet, to ensure faster movement of troops into the strategically located district of Tawang. Will do on the border of China. PTI