In a significant development which will likely provide India with a strategic advantage over China, the Indian government has given in-principle approval for a crucial tunnel under the Brahmaputra river which will provide the Indian Army with year-long connectivity between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam amidst simmering tensions with China at the LAC.
Hindustan Times reports that the Union government has granted its in-principle approval to construct the strategically important four-lane tunnel under the Brahmaputra river which will link Assam’s Gohpur and Numaligarh towns.
The tunnel will likely give sleepless nights to the Chinese as it is situated extremely close to China. Furthermore, India’s tunnel will be longer than China’s under-water tunnel which is currently under construction below the Taihu Lake in Jiangsu province. It also adds added advantage as now India will be able to send its troops faster to China.
The tunnel which will link Assam and Arunachal Pradesh which will help the Indian Army in transporting supplies and ammunition as vehicles will be able to travel at 80 KMPH in the tunnel.
Louis Berger has been roped in by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited to construct the underwater tunnel. The construction of the 14.85 KM long tunnel will begin in December. The tunnel will have crash barriers along with ventilation system, fire-fighting mechanism, footpath, a drainage system and emergency exit.
This development took place after the Army requested the government to build under-water tunnels as bridges can be vulnerable and an easy target for the enemy forces.
The Modi government has been undertaking border infrastructure at a break-neck speed much to the chagrin of China which prompted the latter to start a tense border stand-off at the LAC. The construction of a bridge on the Galwan River, whose construction was one of the major points of contention between two countries, went ahead with full speed and has been completed, despite the bloody brawl on the night of 15th June, which claimed lives on both sides.
The 60-metre bridge known as ‘bailey bridge’ is an excellent piece of modern engineering and it will provide rapid transit to all kinds of military vehicles.
The bridge, which was one of the two infrastructure projects that were the trigger points for Chinese mobilization, with the other being Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road, has been completed and is now fully operational.
Under phase 2 of Indian-China border road project (ICBR), 32 roads will be built along the LAC on a priority basis. In a meeting attended by Border Road Organisation (BRO), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Indian Army and Central Public Works Department (CPWD), it was decided that the government will fast track these projects. The Home Ministry has decided to send 1,500 additional labourers on the construction site in order to fast track the projects, reported India Today. India has almost completed phase one of the Indo-China border with construction totalling 3,346 KM.