Guwahati: The Indian Government has given "in-principle" approval to construct a 4-lane tunnel under the Brahmaputra river that will link Gohpur and Numaligarh, reports said.
According to reports, this tunnel (the first of its kind being constructed in India) will be longer than the one being built by the neighbouring country China below the Taihu Lake in Jiangsu province.
The tunnel, which will have close proximity to China, has been proposed amid heightened military tensions between the 2 countries which resulted in a skirmish, leading to the deaths of 20 Indian jawans at the contested Galwan Valley in Ladakh. A fourth-round of meetings between the Lieutenant Generals of the two countries is scheduled to take place today.
The construction of this tunnel is expected to give a strategic boost to India as it will provide year-long connectivity between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, the latter of which share a long border with the neighboring country which claims several of its areas as its own.
This new tunnel is also expected in helping in transporting military supplies and ammunition as trucks will be able to zoom across the tunnel at very high speeds reaching up to 80 kmph.
According to reports, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHAIDCL) has roped in America's Louis Berger company for the project and the Centre approved its detailed project report in March.
A senior official of NHAIDCL told Hindustan that the construction of the 14.85 km long tunnel will begin in December and that it will be built in 3 phases. He also told the publication that strong measures will be taken to prevent the water from seeping into the tunnel.
The tunnel under the Brahmaputra will also have a ventilation system, fire-fighting mechanism, footpath, drainage system, emergency exit, etc, according to Hindustan, and will also be equipped with crash barriers.
Reportedly, the Indian Army had asked the government to consider building tunnels like the English Channel under the Brahmaputra because bridges can be easily targetted by enemy troopers.