HON’BLE PM SHRI NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATES & DEDICATES THE SELA TUNNEL PROJECT OF BRO TO THE NATION

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HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATES & DEDICATES THE SELA TUNNEL PROJECT OF BRO TO THE NATION.
HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATES & DEDICATES THE SELA TUNNEL PROJECT OF BRO TO THE NATION.
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HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATES & DEDICATES THE SELA TUNNEL PROJECT OF BRO TO THE NATION

 Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today dedicated the Sela Tunnel project to the Nation virtually from Itanagar in the august presence of the Hon’ble CM of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Pema Khandu and Hon’ble Minister of Earth Sciences Shri Kiren Rijiju. The Tunnel was constructed on the Road connecting Tezpur to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

 Sela Tunnel has been constructed at an altitude of 13000 feet with a total cost of Rs 825 Crore and will provide all-weather connectivity to the Tawang Region of Arunachal Pradesh.

 Sela Tunnel will not only boost defence preparedness of the Indian Armed Forces in the Tawang Sector but will also augment the socio-economic development of this border region.

 Earlier the route to Sela Pass had only single-lane connectivity and treacherous bends due to which heavy vehicles, container trucks, and vehicles with trailers could not get to Tawang. This is now feasible with the opening of the tunnel.

 In the last year itself, BRO has completed and dedicated to the Nation’s unprecedented 125 Infrastructure projects constructed at a cost of Rs 3611 cr.

West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh:

The Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today carried out a virtual inauguration of the Sela Tunnel project from Itanagar. Sela Tunnel on the road connecting Tezpur to Tawang is in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh. The tunnel has been constructed at a cost of Rs 825 Cr.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Pema Khandu and Hon’ble Minister of Earth Sciences Shri Kiren Rijiju was also present during the ceremony.

Sela Tunnel has been constructed at an altitude of 13000 feet on the road connecting Tezpur to Tawang and will bypass treacherous Sela Pass at an altitude of 13700 feet. Balipara-Charduar-Tawang Road on which this tunnel has been constructed is an important axis connecting the Tawang Region and provides connectivity to the hinterland upto Tezpur. The road had various bottlenecks like Nichephu, Bomdila Town, and Sela Pass, which have been addressed by BRO in the construction of Sela and Nichephu Tunnels and Bomdila Bypass. 500 m long Nechiphu Tunnel was inaugurated and dedicated to the Nation on 12 Sep 2023 by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh.

The foundation stone of Sela Tunnel was laid by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 09 Feb 2019. The construction of the tunnel
commenced on 01 Apr 2019 and the first blast took place on 31 Oct 2019. The tunnel has been completed in just five years overcoming challenges of difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions.

HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATES & DEDICATES THE SELA TUNNEL PROJECT OF BRO TO THE NATION.
HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATES & DEDICATES THE SELA TUNNEL PROJECT OF BRO TO THE NATION.

The Sela Tunnel System consists of two tunnels of lengths 1003 m and 1595 m respectively with 8.6 Km approach and link roads constructed at a cost of Rs 825 Cr. The second tunnel also has an escape tube adjacent to the main tunnel as per international norms. The escape tube constructed parallel to the main tube is connected with cross passages every 500m. In case of emergency, this escape tube can be used for the movement of rescue vehicles and evacuation of stranded people. The tunnel has been designed for a traffic density of 3000 cars and 2000 trucks per day with a max speed of 80 km/hr.

Sela Tunnel will ensure All-weather connectivity to Tawang and forward areas bypassing the Sela top which will not only facilitate smoother
movement of troops and supplies but also reinforce our defence capabilities in the region. Sela Tunnel will also herald a new era of
economic prosperity for the Tawang region, fostering trade, tourism, employment, and overall development. Earlier the route to Sela Pass had only single-lane connectivity and treacherous bends due to which heavy vehicles, container trucks, and vehicles with trailers could not get to Tawang. Moreover, due to adverse weather conditions, specifically, in winter, evacuation of patients was adversely affected along the existing Sela Pass. All this is now feasible with the opening of the tunnel. The completed Sela Tunnel System will reduce the travel distance by more than eight Km and travelling time by an hour. This Tunnel will improve the quality of life of the people living in the region, by providing easier access to healthcare, education, and essential services in the region.

Sela Tunnel has been constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) which is widely accepted and used in the construction of
tunnels worldwide, especially for Himalayan Geology. It is based on the Philosophy of “Build As You Go” and involves using the inherent strength of the surrounding rock mass to support the tunnel. The execution of this mega project took over 90 Lakh man-hours with an average of around 650 personnel and labourers working every day for the last five years. The enormity of the task could be judged by the quantity of 71,000 metric tons of cement, 5000 metric tons of steel, and 800 metric tons of explosives that were used for construction. A total of 162 plants and machinery were dedicated to the construction of this tunnel.

HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATES & DEDICATES THE SELA TUNNEL PROJECT OF BRO TO THE NATION.
HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATES & DEDICATES THE SELA TUNNEL PROJECT OF BRO TO THE NATION.

Various challenges were faced by Project Vartak during the construction of the Sela Tunnel. These included challenge of freezing temp up
to -10° C and the formation of Icicles inside the tunnel which caused a delay in the concreting process thereby affecting the time plan. Ingress of water during construction & cavity formation affected the progress of work. Restrictions due to the COVID Protocol also affected the construction of the tunnel. Due to the cloud burst that happened in July last year, a lot of damage occurred and the resources had to be shifted for reconstruction of these damages.

Out of the five years it took to complete the project, approximately 762 days had high snowfall or rainfall and 832 days had temperatures below 0° C, creating immense challenges for the personnel executing the work. However, even with these challenges, BRO was able to complete the tunnel in less than five years due to the efficient use of technology, the ground experience of executives, and the hard work of civilian labour involved in the construction.

The Sela Tunnel Project has been constructed with the highest quality standards with a well-prepared Quality Assurance Plan, prepared
strictly as per IRC SP 91 and MoRTH Guidelines. The tunnel has state-of-the-art safety features. The tunnel has a ventilation system to maintain air quality and a state-of-the-art electro-mechanical system including a jet fan ventilation system, fire fighting devices, CIE norms-based illumination system, and SCADA-controlled monitoring systems.

BRO has always been at the forefront of the development of the border region of the Nation. In the last three years, itself BRO has completed and dedicated to the Nation a record 330 Infrastructure Projects constructed at the cost of Rs 8737 Cr. Recently, the Government has allocated Rs 6500 Cr under GS Capital Head for FY 2024-25 against Rs 5000 Cr in FY 2023-24. This 30 % jump under the GS Capital Head is unprecedented and reflects the tremendous faith bestowed by the Government on BRO.

BRO is also giving impetus to important strategic projects. Work on the recently sanctioned 4.10 Km long Shinkun La Tunnel will commence
very soon. Shinkun La Tunnel in conjunction with the Atal Tunnel will ensure All-weather connectivity to Leh along the Manali- Leh Axis. The
connectivity work on the under-construction third axis to Leh i.e. Nimu-Padum- Darcha Road is nearing completion and the road is expected to be connected by March 2024. Furthermore, BRO’s endeavours extend beyond tunneling, with the construction of airfields like the Mudh Airfield in Ladakh, at an altitude of 13,710 ft. Mudh Airfield is poised to bolster our logistical capabilities in strategically important Eastern Ladakh and BRO will be completing this challenging project in just two working seasons.

BRO is not just developing infrastructure along the borders but has always been at the forefront of disaster response and relief efforts. Whether it is the incident at Silkayara Tunnel or the cloud burst at Sikkim, BRO personnel have demonstrated exemplary courage and resilience in serving the Nation and its citizens. At Silkiyara, BRO was instrumental in not only catering to critical logistics and coordination of this challenging rescue operation but also creating much-needed approach tracks at critical juncture of the operations providing much-needed mobility to the drilling equipment of various agencies. BRO was also the first responder along with the Indian Army at Sikkim. The floods caused large-scale devastation to the road infrastructure in North Sikkim, in the area of Project Swastik. BRO pressed all its resources to undertake restoration work on a war footing to restore connectivity. The restoration works are being undertaken in a time-bound, result-oriented manner and BRO is committed to restoration of complete connectivity by 31 Mar 2024.

After dedicating the Sela Tunnel to the Nation, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also flagged off the first civilian convoy
consisting of two buses from Tawang and felicitated the BRO personnel and casually paid labours involved in the construction of the Sela Tunnel. Hon’ble Prime Minister lauded the efforts of the Border Roads Organisation in providing last-mile connectivity to the border region. He praised the workers of the Border Road Organisation for constructing an engineering marvel in such a difficult terrain under extremely trying conditions.

As BRO celebrates the inauguration of the Sela Tunnel Project, it is evident that the faith bestowed upon the organisation is being translated
into action by BRO in terms of quality infrastructure development in border regions of the country thereby bringing prosperity and development to these remote areas.

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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