Sela Tunnel will strengthen national security: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flagging-off ‘India @75 BRO Motorcycle Expedition’ at an event organised by Border Roads Organisation in New Delhi on Thursday. (UNI)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flagging-off ‘India @75 BRO Motorcycle Expedition’ at an event organised by Border Roads Organisation in New Delhi on Thursday. (UNI)

NEW DELHI, Oct 14: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh will bolster national security, as well as ensure socio-economic development in the frontier state.
“The Sela Tunnel, located in West Kameng district, will play a crucial role in bolstering national security and ensuring socio-economic development of the region,” Singh said after remotely presiding over the breakthrough blast of the main tube of the tunnel virtually at an event organised by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) here.
This strategic tunnel the foundation stone of which was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 9, 2019 is being constructed by the BRO under project ‘Vartak’.
Once completed it will give access to all-weather connectivity to the strategically located border town and considerably reduce travel time to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) bordering China. Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,080 km boundary with China.
Singh lauded the country’s premier road construction agency for making significant contributions to the progress of the nation by constructing roads, bridges, tunnels and airfields at record altitudes under extreme weather conditions and making remote areas visible on connectivity maps.
“The efforts of BRO to strengthen border infrastructure have enhanced the operational readiness of the Armed Forces, encouraged tourism in far-flung areas and generated employment for the local population. This state-of-the-art tunnel will prove to be a lifeline for not just Tawang but the entire state,” the Defence Minister said.
He also made special mention of the construction of Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, which is world’s longest highway tunnel at 10,000 feet and Umlingla Pass, the highest motorable pass in the world at 19,300 feet in Eastern Ladakh.
He said, these recent achievements of the BRO have become a subject of study for the whole world.
On the occasion, Singh also flagged off a motorcycle expedition organised by the BRO as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to commemorate 75 years of Independence.
Seventy five riders, including from the BRO, Indian Army and General Reserve Engineer Force personnel, will cover approximately 20,000 kilometres over the next 75 days. They will interact with local people, school children, gallantry award winners, ex-servicemen and ‘veer naris’ and conduct medical camps, raise awareness on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and road safety.
The Defence Minister hoped that the expedition will instill the message of national integration and nation building among people especially the youth.
We can gather additional information about border security and its challenges through such campaigns. Our Army has given a lot of encouragement to such activities and it has helped them to gather information related to security, he said.
He also called for reaching out to the general public for promotion of such activities, emphasising that these can play a big role in encouraging tourism, generating employment and strengthening local economy and assured all possible cooperation of the Government to achieve this objective.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and Director General Border Roads Lt General Rajeev Chaudhry were present on the occasion. (UNI)