|Screenshot of the first blast carried out by Border Roads Organization (BRO) to start work on the Nechiphu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday. (Photo: Indian Army)|
Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday laid the foundation stone of the Nechiphu Tunnel on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) road in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The 450m-long tunnel, which will bypass the existing road, will be D-shaped and comprise two lanes of 3.5m width each. Another 1.8 km-long tunnel is also being constructed on the BCT road and both will reduce distance to the area bordering China by 10km.
Singh also inaugurated eight bridges built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in Arunachal Pradesh. Thirty-six other bridges built by BRO in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir were also inaugurated by the defence minister.
“(I am) extremely happy to dedicate 44 major permanent bridges to the nation today. The foundation of Nechiphu Tunnel was also laid on this occasion in Arunachal Pradesh. These border infrastructure projects are of strategic importance and provide connectivity to remote areas,” Singh tweeted.
Following the foundation stone laying ceremony via video conference, the first blast to start work on the stretch was carried out by BRO.
“These eight bridges in Arunachal Pradesh have augmented road connectivity in remote border districts that will immensely benefit the locals as well as personnel of defence posted in far-off border outposts,” Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu said in a statement.
Congratulating BRO for successful completion of the Atal Tunnel, which was inaugurated earlier this month by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khandu hoped the Nechiphu Tunnel would also be constructed on schedule.