01:17 GMT +326 September 2017
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    India Begins Tunnel Work Through Himalayas to China Border

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    India’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will construct two-lane tunnels bypassing a mountain pass at 13,700 feet in Arunachal Pradesh to gain faster access to the China border. The tunnel will connect the Army’s 4 Corps HQ in Tezpur to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, which is 22 miles from the border.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) —  The length of one tunnel will be 475 meters while the other 1.79 km which will bypass Sela and several hairpin bends. Due to the construction of tunnels across the Sela pass, the road length reduces by approximately four miles.

    "The tunnels would cut down at least an hour of travel time between the Army's 4 Corps headquarters at Tezpur and Tawang. Moreover, the tunnels would ensure that NH 13 and especially the 171-km stretch between Bomdila and Tawang, remains accessible in all weather conditions," BRO said in a statement.

    A Chinese soldier (L) next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state
    © AFP 2017/ DIPTENDU DUTTA
    Earlier, the country’s longest river bridge which cut travel time from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh by some five hours and by 165 km was inaugurated. While 17 highways along eastern border areas are being converted to double lanes and for use as airstrips for fighter jets in war-like situations, these highways will have weapon storage dumps, landing lights, fuel, and firefighting equipment.

    Indian defense ministry has also expedited the work for carrying out final location survey of Misamari (Bhalukpong)-Tenga-Tawang strategic rail new line from March this year. China has been asking India to adopt a cautious and restrained attitude on infrastructure development in areas where consensus has not been reached between the countries.

    China considers the upper part of Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet. Both the countries accuse each other of occupying thousands of square kilometers from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

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    disputed territory, bridge, tunnel, India, China, Himalayas
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