India Plans 11 Tunnels On Pak, China Borders

India Plans 11 Tunnels On Pak, China Borders

6 January 2012
Rising Kashmir


New Delhi: Indian government is planning to build 11 tunnels in the strategically important road stretches close to the Pakistan and China borders. Two more tunnels will be built in Uttarakhand to improve connectivity in the hilly state. “These all-weather tunnels, which will be built by the Border Road Organization (BRO), would cover about 89km. These tunnels are expected to help rapid mobilization of troops and equipments besides providing better connectivity to local residents,” officials said. They said at a recent review meeting about the progress of road projects implemented by BRO, the road construction wing of the Army told the highways ministry officials that the feasibility studies of three projects are under progress. “Two of them - the 12km Zojila and the 6.5km Z Morh tunnels fall in Jammu and Kashmir and are crucial for connectivity between Srinagar and Leh. These two regions often remain cut off during winter as snow covers the highway connecting the regions. The third project has been planned near Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand,” they said. They said BRO is likely to undertake the feasibility study of another nine tunnels in J&K, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. India had stopped the road building activities in regions close to China border after the 1962 war with a view that better road network could help the Chinese forces to spread in case of an invasion. “But that doctrine has been changed and several road development works are being undertaken by the BRO, which are funded by the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH),” sources said. They said BRO would take up construction of two tunnels, totaling 25.4km on Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road that would improve connectivity to Tawang region throughout the year. Supply of troops in Tawang region is being met by helicopters. Two more crucial tunnels have been planned in Sikkim, which are located only 19.3 and 24.6 km distance from the line of control (LoC).