From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Sela Pass
Mains level : Critical border infrastructures
The final blast for the 980-metre long Sela Tunnel was recently conducted by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) amidst inclement weather and heavy snowfall.
Sela Pass Tunnel Project
- The tunnel covers a total distance of 12.04 kms which consist of two tunnels of 1790 metres and 475 meters.
- It is being built at an estimated cost of ₹687 crores by the Border Roads Organisation.
- It aims to provide all weather connectivity to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh — an area claimed entirely by China — and other forward areas.
- Once built it will cut travel time to Tawang by at least an hour for Indian troops stationed in adjoining Assam’s Tezpur town — the headquarters of the Indian army’s IV Corps.
- The lack of motorable roads and rail connections in India’s northeast and Arunachal Pradesh in particular were seen as distinct disadvantages for India vis a vis China in the region.
- Analysts had been warning of China building infrastructure including access roads right up to the Indian border that would give it a strategic advantage in any conflict with India.
- Once completed this would result in all weather connectivity to Tawang and forward areas and reduction in more than one hour of travelling time from Tezpur to Tawang.