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The Sela Tunnel – Importance and the strategic edge it promises

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May 19, 2022

Why in news?

The strategically-significant Sela Tunnel project in Arunachal Pradesh is nearing completion.

What is Arunachal's Sela tunnel project?

  • The Sela tunnel was announced by the government in 2018.
  • It is a part of the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road, one of the key strategic projects near the Chinese border.
  • It is located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The project is being executed by the Border Roads Organisation,
  • This will be the longest twin-lane tunnel above 13,000 feet in the world.
  • The project includes two tunnels and a link road.
    • Tunnel 1 is 980m long
    • Tunnel 2 which is 1555m long is a twin tube tunnel.
    • Tunnel 2 has one bi-lane tube for traffic and one escape tube for emergencies.
    • The link road between the two tunnels will be 1,200 metres.
  • Tunnels longer than 1500 m needs to have to have an escape passage alongside.
  • The total length of the project, including the tunnels, the approach and the link roads, will be around 12 km.
  • The tunnels are coming up through two ridges west of Sela.

Sela Tunnel

Why is it so significant?

  • It will cut down travel time to from Tezpur to Tawang by at least one hour as well as provide all-weather connectivity.
  • At the moment, Sela pass stays closed for a few winter months due to winter and heavy snowfall.
  • This poses serious logistics challenge for both military and civil vehicles.
  • Now faster deployment of weapons and soldiers to the Line of Actual Control and forward areas in the Tawang sector can be made.
  • Once the tunnel is ready, the road will remain open for 12 months of the year.
  • The local population of Tawang will no longer get cut off from the mainland

 

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/sela-tunnel-project-arunachal-pradesh-importance-explained-7924404/lite/
  2. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sela-tunnel-project-to-be-completed-by-yearend-101652639310065.html
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