Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that BRO is a key stakeholder in the prestigious ''Char Dham'' project and breakthrough of this tunnel will go a long way in facilitating speedy move of traffic.
He said the latest Austrian technology has been used in construction of the Chamba tunnel.
The tunnel will be through for traffic by October 2020 almost three months before its scheduled date of completion of January 2021.
The 6 km road and 450 metre tunnel is being constructed at a cost of Rs 88 crore.
"Breakthrough and perfect linkup of construction teams from North & South Portals was accomplished amid challenges of COVID-19 and restrictions due to the nationwide lockdown.The construction of tunnel was a challenging task in terms of land acquisition, weak geology, continuous water seepage and dense built up area above the tunnel increasing the chances of sinking," as per an official statement.
BRO started work on ''North Portal'' of the tunnel in January 2019 but work on ''South Portal'' could commence only after October 2019 when issues concerning land compensation and safety of houses above the tunnel were resolved to the satisfaction of all stakeholders with active support from the state government, it said.
The loss in time was compensated by day and night working shifts along with use of modern technology and machines provided by M/s Bharat Construction, Dehradun, it said.
Under the ''Char Dham'' project costing about Rs 12,000 crore, BRO is constructing 250 km of National Highway leading to holy shrines of Gangotri and Badrinath.
Gadkari also congratulated Lt Gen Harpal Singh, DG Border Roads, and his team for completing crucial projects of national importance in two years. PTI NAM MKJ