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Chardham Project: BRO constructs 440-meter long tunnel below Chamba town in Uttarakhand

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Gadkari inaugurates the breakthrough event of Chamba TunnelOn May 26  2020, In a big boost to ”Char Dham” project to connect holy towns of Gangotri, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Badrinath, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed a 440-meter-long tunnel under the Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road Highway (NH 94) in Uttarakhand even during the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

Key Points:

i.Breakthrough event : Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari has praised the BRO for the construction & he also inaugurated the breakthrough event through video conference.

ii.About the tunnel: The long tunnel, being constructed under the Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna using Austrian technology, will be ready for traffic by the month of October 2020, around 3 months ahead of its scheduled date of completion of January 2021.

The Chamba tunnel is a Horse shoe type tunnel with 10 metre carriage way width and 5.5 metre vertical clearance. The sanctioned cost of this tunnel is Rs 107.07 crore and awarded cost is Rs 86 crore, including Rs 43 crore for tunnel and Rs 43 crore for 4.2 Km approach roads to tunnel.

  • The BRO started work on the northern end of the tunnel in January 2019 but work on South Portal could be started only after October 2019 due to strong resistance by the locals on account of safety concerns.

iii.Benefits: The success of this tunnel will go a long way in facilitating traffic speed, reducing congestion and reducing the distance to Chamba city by one kilometre and easing the movement of passengers on Chardham Yatra, bringing economic prosperity & journey through the town will take only ten minutes as compared to thirty minutes earlier.

iv.Background: The BRO is constructing a 250-km long national highway leading to the holy temples of Gangotri and Badrinath under the 889-km-long Chardham project costing around Rs 12,000 crore.

About Uttarakhand:
Capital– Dehradun (Winter) Gairsain (Summer)
Governor– Baby Rani Maurya
Chief Minister– Trivendra Singh
State Flower– Brahma Kamal
State Fruit- Kaphal

About Border Roads Organisation (BRO):
Headquarters– New Delhi
Director General– Lt. Gen.Harpal Singh