578m tunnel to bypass slide zone inaugurated at Theng

Mangan, 07 Jun:

Minister of State for Defence, Dr Subhash Ramras Bhamre, today inaugurated the Theng Tunnel on the Chungthang-Mangan axis of the North Sikkim Highway. The MoS was hosted by Project Swastik of the Border Roads Organization under whose watch the tunnel has been constructed.

The 578m tunnel, constructed by Aired Engineer Private Company (Turnkey Projects) of Gurgaon, has been built at the cost of Rs 41.87 crores.

The tunnel by-passes the landslide-prone zone and difficult terrain of Theng Bhir, a problematic spot which connects various border posts and tourist destinations like Gurudongmar, Yumthang, Lachen and Lachung.

Dr Bhamre was accompanied by Director General [BRO] Lieutenant General Harpal Singh, District Collector [North], Karma R Bonpo and other officials.

The construction was initiated in 2016 and completed in May 2018, Project Swastik informs.

The tunnel was also a long-standing demand of the local residents.

Dr Bhamre, in his address, held that the tunnel was a huge asset for the people of North Sikkim and the army personnel posted in the border areas of the district.

“I am happy to dedicate the tunnel to the people of Sikkim,” he said.

He maintained that roads in various border areas of the nation are always a matter of great concern for the Central Government.

“The government is always working to ease the problems of roads in the nation, especially the ones in border areas,” he said.

Speaking to SummitTimes, Dr Bhamre said that the Defense Ministry is working on various infrastructure development prohects in the border areas of Sikkim.

“Sikkim is a sensitive State in terms of border security. It is our duty to look after its needs and how to make it strong,” he further added.

The BRO Director General, in his address, highlighted the achievements of BRO and said that Project Swastik has been in the forefront of road development activities in Sikkim.

He informed that Project Swastik maintains 806 KMs of strategic roads in Sikkim and is engaged in roads projects in East Sikkim.

The tunnel is fitted with LED lights, fire fighting system, control room and emergency exit.

“The tunnel has been designed for traffic speed of 40 KM per hour and 500 vehicles per day. The tunnel, being located in the high seismic zone is built with all necessary structural elements”, the BRO-DG said.

Commander [BRO], Colonel IM Singh, also addressed the function.

The inauguration was also attended by BRO and GREF officials, representatives from the construction company and local residents.

[with inputs from ARPAN PRADHAN]