Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, India

Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, India is a significant milestone in India’s infrastructure development and strategic capabilities.

Why in news?

The strategically-significant Sela Tunnel project in Arunachal Pradesh is nearing completion. The Sela tunnel was announced by the government in 2018. It is a part of the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road, one of the key strategic projects near the Chinese border.

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About the Sela Tunnel:

  1. Sela Tunnel is located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, India.
  2. After the completion of Sela Tunnel, it will be the world’s longest bi-lane tunnel at an altitude above 13,000 feet.
  3. It ensures all-weather connectivity between Guwahati in Assam and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
  4. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is responsible for its construction under Project Vartak, commencing on April 1, 2019. Vartak, also known as Project VARTAK is a project of the Border Roads Organisation under the Ministry of Defence of India.

Read more: General Studies of Arunachal Pradesh MCQs | Arunachal Pradesh GK Objective Question Bank for APPSC Exams

Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, India,

During the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Maha Vir Chakra awardee Jaswant Singh Rawat held Chinese Army off at this mountain pass with the help of two local Monpa girls named Sela and Noora. Later, Sela was killed and Noora captured. Rushing from position to position, Rawat held off the enemy for 72 hours until the Chinese captured a local supplier, who told them that they were facing only one fighter.

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The Chinese then stormed Rawat’s position and Rawat was killed. The Indian army built Jaswant Garh war memorial for Jaswant Singh and the pass, tunnel & lake were named after Sela for her sacrifice. The tunnel is also named after her. Nuranang Falls, north of Sela Tunnel and 2 km east of Jang, are named after Nura.

Project Components:

  • Tunnel 1: Single-tube tunnel with a length of 980 meters.
  • Tunnel 2: Bi-lane tunnel with a length of 1555 meters, including an escape tunnel for emergencies.
  • Roads: Approach to Tunnel 1 (7100m), road between the two tunnels (1340m) and approach to Tunnel 2 (340m).

The Sela Pass:

  • Sela Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass situated in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, India.
  • It stands at an elevation of 4,170 meters above sea level.
  • Sela Pass connects Tawang Valley to the rest of India and remains open throughout the year, managed by the BRO.

What are the benefits for India?

The Sela Tunnel will have a number of strategic benefits for India:

  1. It will reduce the travel time between Tawang and the state capital of Itanagar by over 6-7 hours.
  2. This will make it possible for India to rapidly deploy troops and supplies to the forward areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with Chinese border.
  3. The Sela Tunnel will improve India’s border security capabilities. It will allow India to maintain a constant vigil on the LAC and to respond quickly to any Chinese incursions.
  4. Sela Tunnel will definitely boost India’s economic development in Arunachal Pradesh. It will make it easier for the people and goods to move between the Tawang district and the rest of India.
  5. This will also promote tourism, trade, and investment in the region.

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