Last blast of Sela Tunnel’s escape tube conducted by BRO at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh

New Delhi, July 22: The last blast of the escape tube of under-construction Sela Tunnel was conducted by Director General Border Roads (DGBR) Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry through video conferencingfrom New Delhi on July 22, 2021.

The event was witnessed onsite by various construction players of Team BRO headed by ADGBR(East)Shri PKH Singh, Chief Engineer Project, Vartak Brig Harish Kumar and representatives of 42 Task Force and Patel Engineering Limited.

This breakthrough will facilitate faster completion of Sela Tunnel by undertaking simultaneous activities in two tubes i.e.,a two-way tube of 1,555 meters and an escape tube of 980 meters, besides 8.8 kms of approach roads.

The DGBR had initiated the first blast of the escape tube during his visit on Army Day in January 2021. This tube has already crossed the 425-meter excavation mark.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of Sela Tunnel on February 09, 2019 to provide all weather connectivity to Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh through the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang Road.

The construction of the tunnel started on April 01, 2019 with the first blast taking place on October 31, 2019. The excavation pace of Sela Tunnel has been swiftas it has resulted in the breaking down of the escape tube of the 1,555 meters tunnel on July 22, 2021, much ahead ofschedule. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and adverse weather conditions, the pace of works has increasedin the last 6-10 months.

On completion, Sela Tunnel will be the longest bi-lane road tunnel in the world at an altitude above 13,000 feet. This unique tunnel constructed using the latest New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM), is much below the snow line allowing all weather travel without the challenges of snow clearance.

The Sela Tunnel will prove to be a boon for the people of Tawang as it will reduce travel time and ensure speedier movement across the Sela Pass. It will play a crucial role in the development of not just Arunachal Pradesh, but the entire North-East.In case of natural calamities and adverse weather, it can prove to be a vital link for evacuation of personnel.

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