TAWANG- Sela Tunnel, which is in the final stages of construction, will be the longest bi-lane road tunnel in the world at an altitude above 13,000 feet upon completion. It is being excavated below 4,200 meters of Sela Pass and promises to provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. It will not only enhance connectivity in the northeast but also has a significant strategic role to play.
According to a PTI report, this tunnel is expected to cut down the distance to the China border through Tawang by 10 km.
“The tunnel would also cut down by at least an hour the travel time between the Army’s 4 Corps headquarters at Tezpur in Assam and Tawang.
Former Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in his 2018-19 budget, had announced the government’s plan to build a tunnel through Sela Pass located at an elevation of 13,700 ft, which will ensure faster movement of troops in Tawang.
On February 09, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had established the foundation stone of the Sela Tunnel.
According to a PIB report, the construction of the tunnel started on April 01, 2019, with the first blast taking place on October 31, 2019.
The project consists of two tunnels. Tunnel 1 is 980 meters in length while tunnel 2 is a twin tube tunnel which is 1555 meter in length
On Wednesday, media reports claimed that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will conduct virtually the final breakthrough blast of the Sela tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh. The constructed work is expected to be over by June 2022, the sources noted.
This important tunnel constructed using the latest New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) is considerably below the snow line, which makes it accessible during all weather.