The Nechipu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, along with 90 other infrastructures was inaugurated by the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on September 12. The Border Roads Organisation-that has constructed 205 Infrastructure projects in the last two years, organised a ceremony at Devak Bridge on Bishnah-Kaulpur-Phulpur Road in Jammu and Kashmir. The Raksha Mantri inaugurated 22 Roads, 63 Bridges, the Nechipu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, two airfields in West Bengal and two helipads. He also carried the e-shilanyas of Nyoma Airfield to be constructed in Ladakh. Most of these projects are constructed in ten border states and union territories of northern and north eastern India- 11 in Jammu and Kashmir, 26 in Ladakh, 36 in Arunachal Pradesh, 5 in Mizoram, 3 in Himachal Pradesh, 2 each in Sikkim, Uttarakhand and West Bengal and 1 each in Nagaland, Rajasthan and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Of the inaugurated structures, the 500 metre long, D- shaped Nechipu Tunnel on Balipara- Charduar- Tawang Road in Arunachal Pradesh, located at an altitude of 5,700 feet, along with the Sela Tunnel is aimed to provide an all-weather connectivity to the strategic Tawang Regio and prove beneficial to both the armed forces and the tourists visiting. The tunnel is aimed to provide shield against dense fog around the Nechipu pass which has posed hindrances to general traffic and military convoys for decades while reducing the carbon footprint in an eco-sensitive area. It will also be complemented with a state-of-the-art electro-mechanical system including firefighting devices, auto illumination system and supervisory control and data acquisition controlled monitoring systems, as per a press release by the PIB.
The tunnel will also accommodate footpaths on both sides for pedestrian movement, and will have ducts for power cables, optical fibre cables and utility lines to strengthen the civic amenities structure. Moreover, the challenges are being looked into on a daily basis, complying with the New Australian Tunneling Method.
The tunnel, excavated under ‘Project Vartak’ will accommodate two-way traffic, will be equipped with modern lighting and safety facilities and has been built by cutting through fragile Himalayan mountains through strict 3D monitoring.
Apart from the Nechipu tunnel , another notable project inaugrated is the state of the art 422.9 metre long, class 70 RCC Devak Bridge on Bishnah-Kaulpur-Phulpur Road in Jammu and Kashmir. The bridge is also of strategic importance to our Defence Forces as it will enable speedy induction of troops, equipment and mechanised vehicles to forward areas. It will also boost the socio-economic development in the region.
The Nyoma airfield inaugrated in Eastern Ladakh will boost air infrastructure in Ladakh and augment the IAF’s capacity along the Northern Borders, considering that Nyoma is one of the most strategic Airfield located really close to the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Revamped Bagdogra and Barrackpore Airfields in West Bengal have also been constructed by BRO at a mere cost of Rs 529 Crore, hereby, improving the defensive and offensive architecture of Indian Airforce along Northern Borders while facilitating commercial flight operations in the region.
BRO has completed many critical and strategic projects in the last three years, further bolstering country’s defence. BRO has also connected the remotest villages to the mainland, triggering reverse migration along the border villages in Arunachal Pradesh.