Himachal: Work on world’s highest Shinkula Tunnel will start from June, tender issued

मनाली-दारचा-पदुम-लेह मार्ग पर बन रही विश्व की सबसे ऊंची शिंकुला टनल का निर्माण कार्य जून में शुरू होगा।

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The construction work of the world’s highest Shinkula Tunnel being built on the strategically important Manali-Darcha-Padum-Leh road will start in June. Border Roads Organization has given a tender worth about Rs 1500 crore to a Delhi company. Due to the construction of the tunnel, there will be movement of army convoy on Manali-Darcha-Leh via Shinkula-Padum and Nimmu route for 12 months. The four-kilometer-long tunnel will be dedicated to the country in three years i.e. by 2027. The tunnel being built through the Shinkula Pass, 16,580 feet high above sea level, will make it easier for the Indian Army to reach the Pakistan and China border.

With the construction of the tunnel, there will be movement of common people and tourist vehicles along with the army for 12 months between Manali-Kargil and Manali-Leh strategic road. Till now, it takes about 17 hours for army vehicles to travel from Manali to Leh via Sarchu, but it will take less than 10 hours to reach Pakistan and China border via Shinkula Tunnel. At the same time, heavy machinery can be easily transported to Kargil, Siachen and LOC. Colonel Vikas Gulia, Director of the Joint Project of the Border Roads Organisation, said that the work on Shinkula Tunnel will be started from June and the target is to complete it in three years.

Distance will be reduced by 100 km due to construction of tunnel

With the construction of the tunnel, the challenges of 16,500 feet high Baralacha, 15,547 feet Nakilla, 17,480 feet Tanglangla and 16,616 feet high Lachungla passes coming through Manali-Leh via Sarchu will end. The distance of Manali-Leh via Baralacha is 427 km. The distance of Manali-Leh via Shinkula Pass is about 440 km. The construction of the tunnel will reduce the distance by about 100 km.

Zanskar valley will also remain connected to Lahaul for 12 months>

There will now be two alternative routes from Manali to Leh. One is Manali-Sarchu-Leh, which is closed due to heavy snowfall for about six to seven months in a year. This route passes at an altitude of 16,000 to 17,000 feet. Secondly, traffic via Manali-Shinkula-Padum-Nimmu will remain open for 12 months. This route will pass through about 12,000 feet above sea level. This will also keep Zanskar valley connected with Lahaul and Ladakh for 12 months.