Se-la tunnel: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates strategic infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh near LAC

Team India Sentinels Saturday 9th of March 2024 08:35 PM

The Se-la tunnel. (India Sentinels photo from BRO via special arrangement.)

New Delhi: The prime minister, Narendra Modi, virtually inaugurated and dedicated the Se-la tunnel project to the nation from Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, on Saturday. The ₹825 crore tunnel, constructed by the Border Roads Organization, will provide all-weather connectivity to the Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh, near the line of actual control (LAC) with China in the eastern sector.

The “la” in “Se-la” (commonly spelled as a single word, “Sela”) means “(mountain) pass” in Tibetan.

The Se-la tunnel. (India Sentinels photo from BRO via special arrangement.)

The 1,003-metre and 1,595-metre twin tunnels have been built at an altitude of 13,000 feet (3,962 metres) along the road connecting Tezpur to Tawang. They bypass the hazardous Se-la at 13,700 feet (4,176 metres), which was earlier the only route to Tawang with single-lane connectivity and treacherous bends. The tunnels have been designed to allow traffic of up to 3,000 cars and 2,000 trucks per day at a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Modi hailed the BRO for constructing the “engineering marvel” under extremely challenging conditions of terrain and weather. He stated that the tunnel would not only boost India's defence preparedness but also facilitate trade, tourism, and the overall socio-economic development of the border region.

Read more about the Se-la tunnel here.

The Se-la tunnel with its two portals – for incoming and outgoing traffic. (India Sentinels photo from BRO via special arrangement.)

Until now, the movement of heavy vehicles and evacuation of patients were greatly hindered, especially during winters, due to the adverse weather at Se-la. The tunnels will reduce travel time by one hour and distance by over eight kilometres.

Constructed using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM), the project overcame challenges like subzero temperatures of up to –10-degrees celsius, water ingress, and disruptions due to Covid protocols and a recent cloudburst. Notably, over 90 lakh man hours were put in by an average of 650 workers daily over the last five years.

The Se-la tunnel. (India Sentinels photo from BRO via special arrangement.)

The chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and the Union minister for earth sciences were also present during the virtual ceremony.

Besides the Se-la tunnel, the BRO highlighted its efforts in developing infrastructure like the recently inaugurated Nechiphu tunnel and the under-construction Shinkun-la tunnel, aimed at ensuring all-weather connectivity to strategic border areas, like Leh.


About Us | Contact Us | Privacy | Cookies