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PM to inaugurate strategically crucial Sela Tunnel project in Arunachal

03:50 AM Mar 09, 2024 IST | IANS
pm to inaugurate strategically crucial sela tunnel project in arunachal
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Itanagar, Mar 8: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the strategically crucial Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang district on Saturday, officials said.

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Officials said that the Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for around 20 development projects and dedicate the tunnel to the nation at a function at Baisakhi in West Kameng district before proceeding to neighbouring Assam.

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Strategically crucial, the Sela Tunnel project, constructed at a cost of Rs 825 crore, includes two tunnels and 8.780 km of approach road.

The total length of the project, including the tunnels, the approach and the link roads, will be around 12 km.

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Of the two tunnels, the first is a single-tube tunnel of 980 metres in length, and the second is 1.5 km long with an escape tube for emergencies.

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An official said that the tunnel, stretching through the Sela-Charbela ridge and constructed with the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM), will be the world’s longest bi-lane tunnel at an altitude of 13,000 feet.

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On the road connecting Assam's Tezpur to Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang, the tunnel will enable "all-weather" connectivity to the Tawang region and is strategically significant as its proximity to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the official said.

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It has been excavated below the 4,200-metre (13,800 ft) Sela Pass, which connects the Tawang district with the rest of Arunachal Pradesh and is often closed due to snowfall and landslides. The tunnel will also provide access to Tawang and other forward areas bordering China throughout the year, enhancing the strategic and operational capabilities of the Indian Army.

The official also said that various safety measures were installed inside the tunnel.

The foundation of the mega project was laid by the Prime Minister in February 2019, but work got delayed due to various reasons, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

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