National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has speeded up the detailed project report (DPR) work on the World’s Longest High-Altitude Shinkun La Tunnel (13.5 Km long) along with its approach roads in Union Territory of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh's Lahaul-Spiti district, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement on Wednesday (23 September).
On completion of this tunnel, the Manali-Kargil highway will remain open throughout the year, the ministry said.
The development comes amid tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Both the countries have deployed large number of troops in the area, following the 15 June Galwan clash in which 20 Indian soldiers and unknown number of Chinese PLA troops were killed.
In the statement, the ministry said that the government is giving priority to build Infrastructure in border areas of UT of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh.
"In order to take a holistic view for improving the road connectivity and its availability throughout the year, a team of senior officers of NHIDCL led by its MD Shri K K Pathak travelled by road from Leh to North and South Portals of Shinku La Tunnel via Padum for two days," the statement said.
During the visit, the team visited the North and South Portals of Shinkun La tunnel and conducted detailed review of Geotechnical Investigations being carried out at the site by the DPR Consultants, it said.
"During the course of inspection of the works, Pathak stressed upon expediting the project work in portal areas so as to finish it latest by 15 October 2020 before onset of winter season as the area experiences very heavy snowfall," the statement added.
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