Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, today inaugurated the breakthrough event of Chamba Tunnel under <em>Chardham Pariyojana</em> through video conference mode.
Border Roads Organisation (BRO) achieved this major milestone by digging up a 440 m long tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road Highway (NH 94).
The breakthrough was completed amidst threat of Covid-19 and nationwide lockdown. The horseshoe type tunnel will decongest busy Chamba town and will be through for traffic by October.
The construction of tunnel was a challenging task in terms of weak soil strata, continuous water seepage, heavy built up area on top thereby chances of sinking of houses and land acquisition issues.
“Rishikesh-Dharasu-Gangotri road in Uttarakhand has a very significant role from socio-economic and religious point of view. The opening of this tunnel will ease out congestion though the Chamba town and reduce the distance by one km and journey through the town will take only 10 minutes as compared to thirty minutes earlier,” said Gadkari.
Lauding BRO for working in a difficult terrain, Gadkari said that the project has been completed three months ahead of the schedule.
“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 use of modern technology facilitated the breakthrough. BRO is a key stake holder in prestigious<em> Chardham</em> project and breakthrough of this tunnel has been achieved by Team Shivalik which used latest Austrian technology in its construction,” said Lt. Gen. Harpal Singh, Director General of Border Roads Organisation.
Under prestigious <em>Chardham</em> Project costing around Rs 12,000 crore with an approximate length of 889 km, BRO is constructing 250 km of National Highways leading to holy shrine of Gangotri and Badrinath..