The strategically-significant Sela Tunnel project in Arunachal Pradesh is nearing completion.
About the Sela tunnel project
- The Sela tunnel was announced by the government in 2018.
- The Sela Tunnel is the longest bi-lane road tunnel in the world.
- It is being built on the 317km long Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) road which connects West Kameng, East Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh to the rest of the country.
- 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 at an altitude of 13,800ft near the Indo-China border.
- 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 need 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.
- China is undertaking massive infrastructure development and troop build-up in the Rest of Arunachal Pradesh (RALP) area.
- In military parlance, the RALP is an area in Arunachal Pradesh other than the Kameng area.
- Other than the Kameng area consisting of East and West Kameng districts, the rest of the State is referred to by the Army as the RALP.
- All-weather connectivity to Tawang and other forward areas in the sector
- This project Will provide a new alignment on the axis towards the LAC, and allow movement of military and civil vehicles all through the year (Sela pass stays closed for a few winter months).
- Reduction in more than one hour of travel time from Tezpur to Tawang and travellers avoiding dangerous snow covered Sela top at a height of 13,700 feet.