GUWAHATI: The strategic Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, constructed at an altitude exceeding 13,000 feet, is likely to be inaugurated in October. Officials of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) told the local press that only a small fraction of work remains to be completed before the tunnel can be officially opened to the public.
Situated in the picturesque West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, the Sela Tunnel is a vital infrastructure project spearheaded by the BRO, which promises to provide year-round connectivity to the Tawang district, a region that shares its borders with China.
This milestone project aligns with the Centre’s commitment to enhancing connectivity along the Eastern sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China by developing robust infrastructure.
Upon its completion, the Sela Tunnel will offer a safer alternative to treacherous avalanche-prone and snow-covered areas, significantly reducing travel time between Tezpur in Assam’s Sonitpur district and Tawang by over an hour. This newfound accessibility will bypass the hazardous 13,700-foot-high Sela Pass.
The Sela Tunnel complex comprises two tunnels – Tunnel 1, a 980-meter-long single tube tunnel and Tunnel 2, a 1,555-meter-long twin tube tunnel. The latter is equipped with one traffic lane and an escape tunnel for emergency situations.
Notably, this project ranks among the longest tunnels constructed. The project scope also encompasses the construction of a 7-kilometer approach road leading to Tunnel 1, branching off from the BCT Road, and a 1.3-kilometer link road connecting Tunnel 1 to Tunnel 2.
This development underscores the government’s pursuit of road connectivity to the 3,488-kilometer-long Line of Actual Control, segmented into the Western Sector (Ladakh), Middle Sector (Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), and Eastern Sector (Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh), fortifying the nation’s strategic capabilities and enhancing regional accessibility.
Earlier on September 12, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had inaugurated the Nechiphu Tunnel in West Kameng district, which is part of the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) Road, preceding the Sela Tunnel.