The longest tunnel in Sikkim was recently inaugurated by the Minister of State for Defence Subhash Ramrao Bhamre. The 578 metre long tunnel on the Gangtok-Chungthung State Highway was constructed by the Border Roads Organisation.
The double-lane tunnel bypasses a stretch of road between Sikkim’s capital Gangtok and Chungthang, which frequently remains closed due to landslides and shooting stones. ‘The tunnel would provide all-weather connectivity,’ said a Defense Ministry spokesperson.
Besides shortening the distance, the tunnel will also provide great relief to tourists and citizens travelling to the North Sikkim district.
The construction of Sikkim’s longest tunnel was undertaken by Project Swastik, an arm of the Border Roads Organisation in its Eastern sector. The contract was handed over to a private firm in 2016 and was completed last month.
The tunnel was constructed at a cost of Rs 45 crores and is equipped with LED lighting, a fire-fighting system, control room and emergency exit.
Lt General Harpal Singh, the DG of Border Roads informed that Border Roads Organisation is engaged in three other road projects in East Sikkim namely – Flag Hill Dokala, Tamze-Khola and Tamze Pt 4685 which are being constructed on a war footing, and all efforts are being made to complete the same by 2021, in addition to work worth Rs 1580 crore for improvement of roads in Sikkim.