Sela Tunnel

The Sela Tunnel is located in Arunachal Pradesh. It cuts down the distance to China border through Tawang by ten kilo metres.

Key Facts for UPSC Examination

  • The Sela Tunnel is located in the Sela Pass. The pass is located between West Kameng and Tawang. It is highly crucial in strategic perspective.
  • The tunnel was constructed by Border Road Organisation
  • As of 2021, the tunnel was the longest bi-lane road tunnel in the world.
  • It is located at an altitude of 13,000 feet
  • It was constructed using the New Australian Tunnelling method
  • The tunnel is located below the snow line and is accessible during all weather. Snow line is the altitude beyond which snow does not melt even during summer. On an average, snow line lies at an altitude of 14,000 feet.
  • The tunnel will cut down an hour the travel time between Tawang and Army’s Corps headquarters at Tezpur
  • The tunnel is expected to add tourist potential of Tawang.
  • The tunnel ensures that the road between Tawang and Bomdila is accessible in all weather conditions.

Significance

The tunnel will help the Western Theatre Command of the Indian Military to combat China’s threat along Line of Actual Control. China claims that Tawang is a part of Tibet. In 1914, McMahon Line defined the boundary between British India and Tibet. In 1950, China conquered Tibet. In 1959, the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama came into India through Tawang. In Sino-Indian war 1962, Tawang fell into Chinese control. However, the Chinese troops withdrew voluntarily at the end of the war. Thus, Tawang again came into Indian administration. However, border issues keep raising between the countries in and around Tawang. In 2017, China renamed six places in and around Tawang.

Bhalukpong-Tawang Tailway

It is an under-construction railway line. It is to pass through Sela Tunnel. The construction of the railway line is expected to be complete by 2022.

Sela Pass

The pass is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist site. There are around 101 sacred lakes in and around the Sela pass. The pass faces landslides. Also, it becomes inaccessible during heavy snowfall.

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