Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday inaugurated an event of Chamba Tunnel under Chardham Pariyojana through video conference.

Under the project, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has been constructing 250 km of National Highways leading to holy shrine Gangotri and Badrinath.

BRO achieved this major milestone by digging up a 440 m long Tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road Highway (NH 94).

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said, this Rishikesh-Dharasu-Gangotri road in Uttarakhand has a very significant role from the socio-economic and religious point of view. He said, opening of this tunnel will ease out congestion though the Chamba town and reduce the distance by one kilometer and journey through the town will take only ten minutes as compared to thirty minutes earlier. Shri Gadkari lauded BRO for working in some of the very difficult terrain and ensuring implementation of critical projects. He said that he has been informed about completion of the project by October 2020, ie, three months ahead of the schedule.

Director General of Border Roads Organisation, Lt Gen Harpal Singh said, “BRO started the work on North Portal of this tunnel in Jan 2019 but work on South Portal could be started only after Oct 2019 due to stiff resistance from locals on account of safety concerns and compensation issues. To compensate for the loss in time, day and night working shifts along with use of modern technology facilitated the breakthrough.”

“BRO is a key stake holder in prestigious Chardham project and breakthrough of this tunnel has been achieved by Team Shivalik. Latest Austrian technology has been used in its construction. The tunnel will be through for traffic by October this year, almost three months before its scheduled date of completion,” he added.