India’s BRO conducts 'breakthrough' blast of Nechiphu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh state

Written By: Aditi Gupta WION
New Delhi Updated: May 20, 2022, 07:46 PM(IST)

Nechiphu Tunnel, located at an altitude of 5,700 feet Photograph:( WION )

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The blast marked the cumulative excavation of more than 4,500 meters, achieved by India's Border Roads Organisation (BRO), in less than two years

India completed the excavation work of Nechiphu Tunnel, located at an altitude of 5,700 feet in its eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh by conducting a final "breakthrough blast", officials said on Friday.

The blast marked the cumulative excavation of more than 4,500 meters, achieved by India's Border Roads Organisation (BRO), in less than two years.

BRO is a road construction executive force in India that provides support to and is now a part of the Indian armed forces. It develops and maintains road networks in India's border areas and friendly neighbouring countries.        

The Nechiphu Tunnel is a unique 500-metre-long “D-shaped, single tube double lane tunnel” on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) Road in West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh.

Once it opens up, the Nechiphu Tunnel, along with the Sela Tunnel, will provide safe, all-weather strategic connectivity on the BCT Road while reducing the carbon footprint in this eco-sensitive area.

Director-General of BRO Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry conducted the blast remotely from India's national capital New Delhi.

The tunnel will accommodate two-way traffic and will be equipped with modern lighting and safety facilities, Indian officials said.

The tunnel has been conceived to bypass extreme foggy conditions prevailing around Nechiphu Pass which had caused hindrance to general traffic and military convoys for many decades, officials said.

Nechiphu Tunnel

"The tunnel will be provided with a state-of-the-art electro-mechanical system including firefighting devices, auto illumination system and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) controlled monitoring systems.

"It will also accommodate raised footpaths on both sides for safer pedestrian movement which will have ducts for power cables, optical fibre cables and utility lines to strengthen the civic amenities infrastructure," they said.

The ongoing tunnel construction is being accomplished by cutting through fragile and highly fractured rock strata, officials said.

The attendant challenges are being tackled on daily basis through strict 3D monitoring and through proactive application of desired tunnel support systems in accordance with the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM).

The foundation stone of the project was laid by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on October 12, 2020.

In tandem with the Nechiphu Tunnel project, the Project Vartak of BRO has also completed the excavation work on another strategic tunnel, the Twin Tube (1,555 meters and 980 meters) “Sela Tunnel Project” on the same road, on January 22 this year.

Friday's blast thus marks the cumulative excavation of more than 4,500 meters achieved by BRO in less than two years, officials said.

India has taken up tunnelling in a big way with the completion of high altitude and mountainous tunnels. In addition to the Atal Tunnel, Rohtang in Himachal Pradesh, the Chamba Tunnel in Uttarakhand have also been dedicated to the nation in the recent past, officials said.

 

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