In a major boost to ''Char Dham'' project to connect Gangotri, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Badrinath, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has achieved a milestone in the construction of a tunnel below the densely populated Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road (NH-94).
"Happy to announce that our Border Roads Organisation (BRO) team has made a major breakthrough in Chardham Project. They have successfully dug up 440 m long Tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road Highway(NH 94)," Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted on Tuesday.
Happy to announce that our Border Roads Organisation (BRO) team has made a major breakthrough in Chardham Project. They have successfully dug up 440 m long Tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road Highway(NH 94). #PragatiKaHighway pic.twitter.com/uUtkylpYft— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) May 26, 2020
He also inaugurated the breakthrough event through video conference.
Gadkari said, the opening of this tunnel will ease out congestion through the Chamba town and reduce the distance by one kilometre and journey through the town will take only ten minutes as compared to thirty minutes earlier.
The six-km road and 450-metre tunnel is being constructed at a cost of Rs 88 crore.
The latest Austrian technology has been used in the construction of the Chamba tunnel, the minister said.
Director General of Border Roads Organisation, Lt Gen Harpal Singh said, BRO started the work on North Portal of this tunnel in January 2019 but work on South Portal could be started only after October 2019 due to stiff resistance from locals on account of safety concerns and compensation issues. To compensate for the loss in time, day and night working shifts along with the use of modern technology facilitated the breakthrough, he said.
Under the ''Char Dham'' project costing about Rs 12,000 crore, BRO is constructing 250 km of National Highway leading to holy shrines of Gangotri and Badrinath.
The tunnel will be ready for traffic by October 2020, almost three months ahead of its scheduled date of completion of January 2021.
"The construction of the tunnel was a challenging task in terms of land acquisition, weak geology, continuous water seepage and densely built area above the tunnel increasing the chances of sinking," said a statement from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.