Tehri (Uttarakhand) [India], May 26 (ANI): In a major boost to the Chardham road project in Uttarakhand, Border Roads Organisation has successfully dug a 440-meter tunnel below the densely populated Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu highway.
"BRO achieved a major milestone in the construction of a tunnel below Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road (NH 94). Breakthrough and perfect linkup of construction teams from North and South Portals was accomplished amid challenges of COVID-19 and restrictions due to the nationwide lockdown," BRO said in an official statement on Tuesday.
BRO Chief Lt Gen Harpal Singh said that latest Austrian technology is being used in the construction and the tunnel will be completed in October 2020, three months before schedule.
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari tweeted, "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."
Gadkari also congratulated Lt Gen Harpal Singh and his team for completing crucial projects of "national importance" over the last two years.
BRO, in its statement, said that the work on the North Portal of the tunnel started in January 2019 but work on South Portal could commence only after October 2019, when issues concerning land compensation and safety of houses above the tunnel were resolved to the satisfaction of all stakeholders with active support from the State government.
It said that the construction of the tunnel was a challenging task in terms of land acquisition, weak geology, continuous water seepage and the densely built-up area above the tunnel increasing the chances of sinking.
"Under the prestigious Chardham project costing about Rs 12,000 crores, BRO is constructing 250 km of national highway leading to holy shrines of Gangotri and Badrinath. Majority of the works are progressing ahead of schedule and five projects are slated for completion by October 2020," the statement said.
"The Supreme Court nominated HPC for Chardham Yojna had commented positively on the methodology of work being followed by BRO in this eco-sensitive zone," it added. (ANI)