Shinkun La Tunnel

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Overview:

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is preparing to commence the construction of the Shinkun La Tunnel.

About Shinkun La Tunnel:

  • It is an upcoming motorable tunnelunder the 16,580 feet high Shinku-La pass betweenHimachal’s Lahaul valley and Ladakh’s Zanskar valley. 
  • It is located on the Nimu-Padam-Darcha Road link.
  • The length of the tunnel will be 4.1 km.
  • After completion, the Shinku-la tunnel will be the longest high altitude highway tunnel in the world.
  • The Border Roads Organization (BRO) will construct the tunnel at a cost of Rs. 1,681.5 crores.
  • It will provide all-weather road connectivity to Ladakh, and this will be the shortest route to the border areas of Ladakh.
  • It is expected to streamline the transportationof heavy machinery to strategic locationssuch as Kargil, Siachen, and the Line of Control (LOC), reducing travel distances by approximately 100 km.
  • The traffic movement in the tunnel will not be vulnerable to long-range artillery shelling or missile firings, either by China or Pakistan.

Key Facts about Border Roads Organisation (BRO):

  • It is a road construction executive force in India that provides support to the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Establishment: It was formed on 7 May, 1960, to secure India's borders and develop infrastructure in remote areas of the north and north-east states of the country.
  • It developsand maintains road networks in India's border areas and friendly neighboring countries.
  • This includes infrastructure operations in 19 states and three union territories (including Andaman and Nicobar Islands) and neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tajikistan, and Sri Lanka.
  • Officers and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) form the parent cadre of the BRO.
  • It is also staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army's Corps of Engineers on extra regimental employment (on deputation).
  • BRO is also included in the Order of Battle of the Armed Forces, ensuring their support at any time.
  • Motto of the organization: Shramena Sarvam Sadhyam (everything is achievable through hardwork).

Q1: What is the Line of Control (LOC)?

LoC is a geographical line lying between India and Pakistan’s controlled parts of the former (under the British) Jammu and Kashmir and controlled by the army. This line is not actually a legally recognized international boundary but prevails as per de facto. After the Simla Agreement signed in July 1972, this line was officially renamed as "Line of Control" from “the Cease-fire Line”.

Source: BRO to complete 2 roads near China border, start work on world’s highest tunnel