Survey for Shinku La tunnel from tomorrow

Survey for Shinku La tunnel from tomorrow

A helicopter takes a trial flight for the survey on Thursday.

Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, October 15

A trial to conduct an aerial survey for the proposed Shinku La tunnel was done using a Chinook helicopter from the Stingri helipad near Keylong in Lahaul & Spiti district today.

The survey will be carried out from tomorrow jointly by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), a company of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and the Indian Air Force.

Its DGM Anil said consultant engineers of Gujarat and three experts from Denmark assembled a huge frame-structured antenna in two days. The antenna was tied to the helicopter and its calibration was done. The recce of the region was done.

Now Manali-Kargil-Leh route

  • A tunnel is proposed on 16,600-foot-high Shinku La to provide an alternative Manali-Darcha-Shinku La-Padum-Kargil-Leh route
  • The 13.5-km tunnel will be built at a height of over 12,000 ft
  • The tunnel will facilitate the movement of military supplies to border areas
  • It will be the longest in the world at this altitude

He said under the survey, mechanical and geological scientists would study about the 600-metre stretch of the Zanskar range.

A tunnel is proposed on the 16,600-foot high Shinku La to provide an alternative Manali-Darcha-Shinku La-Padum-Kargil-Leh route.

With the opening of Atal Tunnel, the government has accelerated the pace of work of an alternative route to the border areas, especially after the recent face-off with China in the Galwan valley.

A detailed project report for the Shinku La project is being prepared and tenders will be floated soon. The Manali-Sarchu-Leh highway is accessible only during summers for around six months as it remains closed in winter due to heavy snow.

Three tunnels are also proposed underneath the Baralacha Pass (16,040 feet), Lachung La (16,800 feet) and Tanglang La (17,480 feet) for all-weather connectivity to Leh. However, making only one tunnel underneath the Shinku La will provide an alternative route to Leh with all-weather connectivity.

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