NECHIPHU– Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday inaugurated the strategically important Nechiphu Tunnel connecting Tawang to Balipara in Assam. Beside that He also inaugurated 36 road and bridge projects in Arunachal Pradesh online.
Defense Minister dedicated to the nation a total of 90 major border infrastructure projects across the country through online mode from Jammu. These projects of the Border Roads Organization (BRO) along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China are worth Rs 2,941 crore.
One of the highlights of the inauguration was the unveiling of the state-of-the-art Devak bridge, spanning 422.9 meters, situated on the Bishnah-Kaulpur-Phulpur Road in the Samba district. Additionally, 89 other projects were inaugurated virtually by Minister Rajnath Singh.
Of the 89 projects inaugurated virtually, 36 are located in Arunachal Pradesh, 25 in Ladakh, 11 in Jammu and Kashmir, five in Mizoram, three in Himachal Pradesh, and two each in Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal. There is also one project each in Nagaland, Rajasthan, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu was a part of the ceremony through a virtual connection, emphasising the multi-state impact of these infrastructure developments.
In his brief address, Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu lauded the BRO for successful completion of the tunnel within a short span of time. He also expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh for their sincere efforts in improving connectivity in the border state.
“The only bottleneck to development in the state was its poor connectivity, owing majorly to the lackadaisical attitude of the previous governments at the Centre. Since Modi became the Prime Minister, Arunachal has witnessed complete transformation in its connectivity sector. Nechiphu Tunnel is one more example of the Centre’s commitment,” he said.
Underscoring the significance of the Nechiphu Tunnel, Khandu said that it will not only shorten the distance for people travelling on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) road but also ease the danger of driving in the fog that engulfs the area for most part of the year.
“Dense fog in the area made travelling on the curvy road most dangerous. Many fatal accidents have occurred in the area. This tunnel will now bypass the fog zone providing safe travel to all,” he added.
The 500-metre long Nechiphu Tunnel along with the nearing completion Sela Tunnel, will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategic Tawang Region. It will be beneficial to the Armed Forces deployed in the region and the tourists visiting Tawang. Rajnath Singh had laid the foundation stone of the tunnel in October 2020.
Complementing the BRO for its proactive role not only in constructing roads, bridges and tunnels but also in helping locals, both directly (employment) and indirectly (facilities like health centres, schools, etc), Khandu expressed hope that all projects under BRO in Arunachal will be completed successfully.
In addition to these projects, the Defence Minister laid the e-foundation of the Nyoma airfield in eastern Ladakh. This strategic airfield is set to be developed at a cost of Rs 218 crore, with the aim of facilitating wide-ranging strategic air assets in the region.
In the past two years alone, the BRO has dedicated 205 infrastructure projects to India, amounting to a total cost of Rs 5,100 crore. Last year saw the completion of 103 BRO infrastructure projects at a cost of Rs 2,897 crore, while in 2021, 102 projects were successfully dedicated to the nation at a cost of Rs 2,229 crore.