The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced while presenting the Union Budget 2018 that the government would be building a tunnel through the Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh.
The construction of the tunnel will ensure faster movement of troops in Tawang, a strategically- located town in Arunachal Pradesh bordering China. According to the Defence Ministry, the approval for the construction of Sela pass in Arunachal Pradesh has given further impetus to the defence preparedness.
• The development is a part of the Union Government’s effort to develop connectivity infrastructure in border areas to secure India’s defence.
• The proposal to build the Sela Pass comes amid concerns in the defence establishment over China's growing assertiveness along the nearly 4,000 km-long Sino-India border.
• The Indian Army has been pressing for speedy development of infrastructure along the border with China to ensure speedy movement of ammunition and troops.
• Prior to this, the government completed the construction of the Rohtang tunnel in an effort to provide all weather connectivity to the Ladakh region.
• The government has also initiated construction of the Zozila Pass tunnel, which will measure more than 14 kilometres.
About Sela Pass
The Sela Pass is located at a height of 13700 ft between the strategically-located Tawang and West Kameng Districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Pass is considered crucial from strategic perspective. It crosses a sub range of the Himalayas that separates Tawang District, which borders China, from the rest of India.
While the Border Roads Organization (BRO) of India works to keep the Pass open throughout the year, it shuts down temporarily after landslides and during heavy snow.
The proposed Sela Pass tunnel would be an all weather transport tunnel and hence, would enable movement throughout the year.
Who: Union Government
Where: Arunachal Pradesh