Plan to secure Rohtang tunnel, team to visit J&K

Plan to secure Rohtang tunnel, team to visit J&K

The Rohtang tunnel. File photo

Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service
Shimla, August 17

A five-member Board of Officers (BOO) has been constituted to ensure the safety of the 8.8-km Atal Rohtang tunnel, which will prove to be crucial for defence forces by providing an alternative route for the movement of Army convoys and supply of essential items to border areas. The tunnel is likely to be opened between September and October.

Proposals

  • A team of officials will visit J&K to see the arrangements made by the police for Jawahar Tunnel (Banihal) and Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee Tunnel (Chenani-Nashri)
  • They have been ordered to submit a report by September 14
  • The police will have to ensure round-the-clock security and traffic management on the main approaches, key bridges and other strategic installations along the Manali-Sarchu axis
  • Land parcel required for new police stations on both north and south portals of the tunnel will be identified to ensure the operational efficiency

The BOO will visit Jammu and Kashmir and see the arrangements made by the police for two tunnels - Jawahar Tunnel (Banihal) and Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee Tunnel (Chenani-Nashri).

They have been directed to submit a report by September 14.

“The tunnel will also open the hitherto unexplored areas of Lahaul and Spiti to tourism, which will bring in a huge rush of tourists. So proper planning and security arrangement should be in place,” said Sanjay Kundu, Director General of Police. He added that the tunnel was likely to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister either in September-end or early October.

He said the traffic feeder management system for the 10-km stretch on either side of the tunnel need to be planned and fool-proof template need to be proposed for implementation. “The best practices followed in similar road tunnel projects in Swiss Alps, China, Japan and Pakistan will be studied in-depth and replicated if it is compatible to our needs. Besides, some time-tested practices of London Tube and Delhi Metro policing could also be replicated,” said Kundu.

Considering the significance of the tunnel, the police will have to ensure round-the-clock security and traffic management on the main approaches, key bridges and other strategic installations along the Manali-Sarchu axis, till the point where the Ladakh boundary begins.

Daljit Thakur, IG (CID), has been appointed the presiding officer of the Board of Officers along with Madhusudan, DIG Central (Mandi range), Gaurav Singh, SP (Kullu), Rajesh Dharmani, SP (Lahaul-Spiti), and an official from the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

Land parcel required for new police stations on both north and south portals will be identified to ensure the operational efficiency. There will also be back-up for contingencies like crash evacuation, fire contingencies, ambulance services and trauma management, tunnel-related emergencies like caving-in, water pipe bursting and gas-release sabotage contingencies.

The anti-terror component and counter-espionage apparatus will also be part of the security plan. There is also a proposal to have a unit with strength, gadgets and equipment which can function as a repository of all information and data base of vehicles and passengers for scientific management of traffic.

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