New Delhi, Nov 7 – India is considering the creation of a well-connected network of at least 17 tunnels along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates the country from Chinese territory. The tunnels will be about 100-km long and run along the entire LAC, the Economic Times reported.
These tunnels, being planned by India’s frontier road developer Border Roads Organisation (BRO), are expected to cut down travel time while providing weatherproof connectivity. Thus, they will also be crucial in quickly transporting troops during a Doklam-like border standoff and shipping supplies to military posts in strategic areas that remain cut off for half the year owing to heavy snowfall or rain.
Military posts and civilian areas located in the frontier region stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh stay disconnected from the mainland for around half of the year. This is because of extreme weather conditions — either heavy snowfall or rain, depending on the region, thus forcing the army to resort to airlifting supplies and troops and enhancing operational cost, according to the report.
The country is trying to expedite the construction of its 73 India China Border Roads (ICBRs) covering the LAC lengthwise to improve access to border areas. These roads are also meant to induce development in border regions.
However, construction of roads in the border areas often run into problems related to land acquisition, forest clearance, and environmental clearance. The BRO thinks that tunnel construction would also be able to avoid such issues as it would go from beneath the ground.
A BRO official told ET that instead of building long roads surrounding hills, they could bore through one hill straight and move on to another, while reducing the distance between two locations. (Money Control)