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Work on strategic Shinku La Tunnel to begin in June this year

Work on strategic Shinku La Tunnel to begin in June this year

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To provide year-round connectivity to Ladakh border areas
LEH: The work on the all-important, strategic Shinku La Tunnel will commence in June this year, providing all-weather connectivity to the border areas of Ladakh, Member of Parliament from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said on Friday.

The construction of the 4.1-km Shinku La tunnel on the Nimu-Padam-Darcha road link will be a significant development, especially from the security point of view, giving unhindered access to Indian Army to borders with China and Pakistan.

Being built through the Shinkula Pass, 16,580 feet high above sea level, it will be the world’s highest motorable tunnel when completed, and will also connect Zanskar valley to Lahaul for 12 months.

Member of Parliament from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal took to social media on Friday to inform of the development as he congratulated the people of Ladakh.

“Heartiest Congratulations people of Ladakh! Work on Shinkunla Tunnel to begin in June 2024 to provide all weather road connectivity to Ladakh by the end of 2025. Contract of Rs.1700 crore awarded to Border Roads Organisation,” he wrote on Facebook.

“After the construction of the tunnel, there will be movement of army convoy on Manali-Darcha-Leh via Shinkula-Padum and Nimmu route for all 12 months of the year, besides the movement of civilians and tourist vehicles.

“As of now, it takes about 17 hours for army vehicles to travel from Manali to Leh via Sarchu, but it will take less than 10 hours to reach Pakistan and China border via Shinkula Tunnel,” officials informed.

They added that heavy machinery can be easily transported to Kargil, Siachen and LOC through this tunnel.

Colonel Vikas Gulia, Director of the Joint Project of the Border Roads Organisation, informed that with the construction of the tunnel, the distance will be reduced by 100 km.

“With the construction of the tunnel, the challenges of 16,500 feet high Baralacha, 15,547 feet Nakilla, 17,480 feet Tanglangla and 16,616 feet high Lachungla passes coming through Manali-Leh via Sarchu will end. The distance of Manali-Leh via Baralacha is 427 km. The distance of Manali-Leh via Shinkula Pass is about 440 km. The construction of the tunnel will reduce the distance by about 100 km,” he said.

The tunnel will also provide year-round connectivity between Zanskar and Lahaul.

It may be mentioned here that the Union Cabinet’s Committee on Security had approved the construction of the 4.1-km Shinkun La tunnel on the Nimu-Padam-Darcha road link in February last year.

Providing details of the cabinet decision back then, Union minister Anurag Thakur had said the tunnel will be completed by December 2025 at a cost of Rs 1,681 crore.

The length of the tunnel will be 4.1 km. An approach will also be built by December 2025.
“The Shinkun La tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to Ladakh and this will be the shortest route to the border areas of the Union territory. This (project) is also very important as far as the security and safety of the country is concerned…. It will also help in the movement of our security forces in that region,” Thakur had said.

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