Amid face-off between the Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday laid the foundation stone for the strategically important Nechiphu tunnel at West Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh via video conferencing.

The 450m-long tunnel, which will bypass the existing road, will be D-shaped and comprise two lanes of 3.5m width each. Another 1.8 km-long tunnel is also being constructed on the BCT road and both will reduce distance to the area bordering China by 10km.

Speaking at the inauguration, Rajnath Singh said that the Nechiphu tunnel will be crucial not only for the armed forces but also for the local civilian population in places like Bhalukpong and Tawang. The all-weather tunnel will be 450 metres long and will reduce the travel time to Tawang, which lies 448 km northwest of state capital Itanagar and bordering China.

Rajnath Singh inaugurates 44 bridgesBesides this, the Defence Minister also inaugurated 43 BRO-made bridges across 7 Border States of the country, including 7 in Arunachal and 4 in Sikkim.

Singh said that the current government is focusing on developing road infra in Border States to provide further boost to the forces and civilian population.

Meanwhile, the defence minister also informed that the Centre is initiating all necessary steps to better road infra in the Northeast and Border States across the nation.

Also speaking on the occasion, Arunachal chief minister Pema Khandu and Sikkim chief minister PS Tamang lauded the Border Roads organization for their relentless efforts.

Pema Khandu informed that the Nechiphu tunnel will benefit more than 300 remote villages besides the border security forces.

With India expediting work on several key projects amidst rising tensions with China, the construction of these bridges and the Nechiphu tunnel will enable the armed forces to react more quickly and efficiently in case of any confrontation.