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PM Modi Inaugurates Sela Tunnel In Arunachal Pradesh | Why Is It Strategically Important For India?

The Sela Tunnel project was constructed at a cost of about Rs 825 crore and was laid by Prime Minister Modi in February 2019.

X/@KirenRijiju
Sela Tunnel Photo: X/@KirenRijiju
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Arunachal Pradesh and inaugurated the world's longest twin-lane tunnel, known as the 'Sela Tunnel,' during a day-long visit on Saturday. The inauguration ceremony occurred in Itanagar, where the Prime Minister participated in the 'Viksit Bharat Viksit North East' program.

Additionally, PM Modi launched various developmental projects in the state, including the UNNATI scheme, which is valued at ₹10,000 crore.

Strategic Importance of Sela Tunnel

Positioned at an elevation of 13,000 feet, the Sela Tunnel assumes strategic significance due to its proximity to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

The tunnel is instrumental in addressing the challenges posed by the closure of the Balipara-Charidwar-Tawang Road during extended periods due to snowfall and landslides caused by heavy rainfall.

The tunnel is expected to bolster the Indian army's capabilities at the LAC by facilitating swift deployment of troops, weaponry, and machinery to the forward areas along the Sino-India border.

History of the project

The Sela Tunnel project was constructed at a cost of about Rs 825 crore and was laid by Prime Minister Modi in February 2019.

It has been constructed using the new Austrian Tunnelling Method and incorporates safety features of the highest standards, said a press release by PIB.

Delays, attributed to various reasons including the COVID-19 pandemic, have since been overcome.

The project comprises two tunnels – a 980-meter single-tube tunnel and a 1.5 km-long second tunnel equipped with an escape tube for emergencies.

The region gained historical significance in 1962 when Chinese troops clashed with Indian forces, resulting in the occupation of Tawang town on October 24 of that year.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju posted an update about PM Modi's visit to Arunachal Pradesh on his X handle, he wrote, "Arunachal Pradesh eagerly awaits the arrival of our beloved Hon'ble PM, Shri @narendramodi ji, as he will dedicate the Sela Tunnel and launch various development projects worth Rs 55,000 crore for the North-East India. A step towards a developed NorthEast and #ViksitBharat."

Additionally, PM Modi will lay the foundation stone for approximately 20 development projects before proceeding to neighboring Assam, as confirmed by the official statement.

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