A 500-metre long Nechiphu Tunnel on Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road was laid open which along with the under construction Sela Tunnel, will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategic Tawang region close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Arunachal Pradesh.

This is part of ninety infrastructure projects of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), worth over ₹2,900 crore and spread across 11 States and Union Territories that were dedicated to the nation on Tuesday by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from Jammu. Nechiphu Tunnel, whose foundation was laid in October of 2020 by the Defence Minister, will be beneficial to the armed forces deployed in the region and the tourists visiting Tawang, said the Ministry of Defence in a statement.

Additionally, Rajnath Singh virtually laid the foundation stone of Nyoma Airfield in Eastern Ladakh which would be developed at a cost of approximately ₹200 crore. It will boost the air infrastructure in Ladakh and augment IAF’s capability along the Northern border with China, as the Ministry of Defence. Singh, durng his address, exuded confidence that this airfield, which will be one of the world’s highest, would prove to be a game-changer for the Armed Forces.

The Defence Minister, stated the ministry, also expressed hope the BRO will soon set another unique record with the construction of Shinkun La Tunnel, the world’s highest tunnel at an altitude of 15,855 feet. The tunnel will connect Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal to the Zaskar Valley in Ladakh and provide all weather connectivity, he said, commending the BRO for developing infrastructure in border areas and making an invaluable contribution to the security of the nation.

Besides that; two airfields in West Bengal; two helipads; 22 roads and 63 bridges were also opened for public. Of these 90 projects, 36 are in Arunachal Pradesh; 26 in Ladakh; 11 in Jammu & Kashmir; five in Mizoram; three in Himachal Pradesh; two each in Sikkim, Uttarakhand & West Bengal and one each in Nagaland, Rajasthan and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, said the MoD.

The Ministry stated that the BRO has completed the construction of these strategically-important projects in record time; most of them in a single working season using state-of-the-art technology. In the public address organised at Devak Bridge on Bishnah-Kaulpur-Phulpur Road of Jammu which too was opened for people, Singh described the BRO as ‘bro (brother)’ of the Armed Forces, and asserted that, through its infrastructure projects, BRO is not only securing India’s borders, but also playing a key role in the socio-economic development of the far-flung areas.

“Together with BRO, we are ensuring that the nation is secure and border areas are developed. Timely completion of infrastructure projects in far-flung areas has now become the new normal of New India,” he said. A state-of-the-art 422.9 meter long Class 70 RCC, Devak Bridge is of strategic importance as it will enhance the operational preparedness of the armed forces and boost socio-economic development of the region, the Ministry observed.

He also praised the BRO’s working style and projects which he dubbed as “a shining example of civil-military fusion”. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology and Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh, Member of Parliament, Jammu Jugal Kishore Sharma, Director General of Border Roads Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command Air Marshal Pankaj Mohan Sinha were among those present on the occasion.

With today’s inauguration of 90 projects worth ₹2,900 crore, a record 295 infrastructure projects of the BRO, at an overall cost of about ₹8,000 crore, have been dedicated to the nation since 2021, the MoD stated giving breakup of infra spread happening at a pace to match that of Chinese across the LAC. In 2022, 103 projects worth approx. ₹2,900 crore were inaugurated; while in 2021, 102 projects at a cost of over ₹2,200 crore were dedicated to the nation, it added.