Itanagar: The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will construct two tunnels through 4170-metre-high Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh, which would cut down the distance to China border through Tawang by 10 km. "The tunnels would cut down at least an hour of travel time between the Army's 4 Corps headquarters at Tezpur and Tawang. Moreover, the tunnels would ensure that National Highway 13 and especially the 171 km stretch between Bomdila and Tawang, remains accessible in all weather conditions," a BRO release said in Itanagar today. This is in keeping with India's bid for faster access to the Tibet frontier through the tough terrain of the state in the Eastern Himalayas. RS Rao, the commander of the 42 Border Road Task Force under BRO's Project Vartak has initiated formal requisition to West Kameng Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sonal Swaroop for acquisition of land for construction of Sela Tunnel, the release said. The project constitutes widening of existing single lane road to National Highway double lane specifications from Baisaki and then taking off a greenfield alignment of length 12.37 km. It also includes construction of two tunnels of length 475 metres and 1790 meters each through Sela-Chabrela ridge meeting the existing Balipara-Chaudur-Tawang road on the Nurarang side, it said. The alignment has been approved by the Chief Engineer, Project Vartak.
There is a shorter but less used road along the Bhutan border via Orang in Assam and Kalaktang in Arunachal Pradesh.