To Take Trains To China’s Doorstep, India Plans To Build Tunnel Through Sela Pass In Arunachal

by Swarajya Staff - Feb 1, 2018 01:13 PM
To Take Trains To China’s Doorstep, India Plans To Build Tunnel Through Sela Pass In Arunachal Tea Stall At Sela Pass. (India Picture/UIG via Getty Images)

India will build a tunnel through the Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh to promote connectivity and tourism, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today in his Budget speech, the Times of India has reported.

According to the daily, the plan to build a tunnel at an elevation of 13,700 feet is part of India’s effort to take trains to Tawang, a district in northern Arunachal Pradesh claimed by China as part of South Tibet. Tawang hosts the second largest Buddhist monastery in the world, called Galden Namgey Lhatse (the Potala Palace in Lhasa is the largest), which is a major concern for China.

The railways, in collaboration with the defence ministry, started survey work for the 377 km long line from Bhalukpong on Assam-Arunachal border to Tawang in 2017. The rail link, which would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 70,000 crore, will provide a route for quick movement of troops and equipment. Bhalukpong, which is about 290 km away from Tawang, is already connected to the rest of the country with a broad gauge rail line. Therefore, with the construction of this link, Tawang will be connected to the rest of the country through rail.

The rail link to Tawang, according to another TOI report, would pass through terrain with altitudes ranging from 500 feet to 9,000 feet. It will likely be laid along the road to Bomdila, which lies at an elevation of 3,048 metres, Railway authorities say.

The tunnel could have been sanctioned to facilitate the construction of the railway line as the area already has roads, experts suggest.

India is also building two more strategic rail links in this area - the 248 km line to Aalo and the 227 km line to Parasuramkund in the southeastern part of the state.

Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.