The Border Road Organisation (BRO) on Friday conducted the final “breakthrough blast”, which marks the successful completion of excavation work of the Nechiphu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh.
The blast was remotely conducted by BRO Director General Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhry from New Delhi, a Defence Ministry statement said. The foundation stone of the project was laid by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on October 12, 2020.
The Nechiphu Tunnel, at an altitude of 5,700 feet, is a unique 500-metre-long “D-shaped, single tube double lane tunnel” on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) Road in West Kameng district and will accommodate two-way traffic. It will be equipped with modern lighting and safety facilities.
“The tunnel has been conceived to bypass extreme foggy conditions prevailing around Nechiphu Pass which have caused hindrance to general traffic and military convoys since many decades,” the statement said. The tunnel would be provided with a state of the art electro-mechanical system, including firefighting devices, auto illumination system and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition controlled monitoring systems, it explained.
In tandem with the Nechiphu Tunnel project, the Project Vartak of the BRO has also completed the excavation work on another strategic tunnel, the twin tube - 1,555 meter and 980 meter - “Sela Tunnel Project” on the same road, on January 22, 2022.
The latest blast marks the cumulative excavation of more than 4,500 meters, achieved by the BRO ‘Karmyogis’ in less than two years, the Ministry said.
Once in service, the Nechiphu Tunnel, along with the Sela Tunnel, would provide safe, all weather strategic connectivity on the BCT Road while reducing the carbon footprint in this eco-sensitive area.
On the construction process, the statement said it was being accomplished by cutting through fragile and highly fractured rock strata. The attendant challenges were being tackled on daily basis through strict 3D monitoring and proactive application of desired tunnel support systems in accordance with the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM), it added.