The construction of an all weather 150 KM stretch from Tanakpur to Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand has begun, which as per reports would make it easier for the Indian armed forces to reach the Chinese border.
This road is being constructed under the ambitious Char Dham all weather highway development project. Under this project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2016, the damaged 1100 KM long highways in the state would be turned into all weather roads.
This Rs 12,000 crore project would result in the connecting the Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrnath Dhams. It is distributed into 7 packages which also involves the aforementioned Tanakpur to Pithoragarh stretch.
As per LD Mathela, an executive engineer of NH 125, the deadline for completing this stretch is set at 2019 and the target can be easily met considering, the road has no tunnels or over-bridges.
One of the reasons why neither tunnels nor over bridges are being constructed on the route is that a non-rocky hill portion isn’t available and the nature of soil and costs involved too don’t permit their construction. The total stretch is expected to cost about Rs 1065 crores.
After the completion of this 12 metre wide road, it would be able to bear the weight and width of all the defence equipment needed during times of emergency, along the India-China border.
Apart from improving the national security, this all weather highway development project would also increase road safety and reduce the travel time by 30% to 40%.
This road stretch isn’t the only one in this country which will aid the troop movement towards the border areas.
We had reported how two 475 metres and 1790 metres long proposed tunnels through the Sela pass in Arunachal would help in reducing the travel time to the Chinese border by an hour. The tunnels, which would be part of a new 12.37-km alignment, would cut down the 320-km distance from Tezpur, the Army’s 4 Corps headquarters, to Arunachal’s Tawang by about 10 km.
Such developments are significant in light of the recent Doklam standoff between the two countries, which signalled the fact that India needs to be prepared for any kind of scenario which China might throw its way.