New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod for the construction of the 4.1-km Shinku La tunnel on the Nimu-Padam-Darcha road link to provide all-weather connectivity to the border areas of Ladakh.
Providing details of the cabinet decision, Union minister Anurag Thakur said the tunnel will be completed by December 2025 at a cost of ₹ 1,681 crore.
The length of the tunnel will be 4.1 km. An approach will also be built by December 2025.
The Shinku La tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity to Ladakh and this will be the shortest route to the border areas of the Union territory, the minister said.
“The Cabinet Committee on Security today approved the Shinku La tunnel for Ladakh area which will provide all-weather connectivity to the Ladakh region with the entire country,” the minister said.
“This (project) is also very important as far as the security and safety of the country is concerned…. It will also help in the movement of our security forces in that region,” Thakur said
Meanwhile the government also gave sanctions to create seven new battalions and an operational border base with a fresh strength of 9,400 personnel for the India-China LAC guarding force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Anurag Thakur said.
The Minister, while briefing media on the decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the fresh manpower will be deployed at 47 new border outposts and a dozen ‘staging camps’ or troops bases along the country’s northern frontier, where the forces of India and China are engaged in a standoff in Ladakh since 2020.
The induction of these new battalions and sector headquarters will be completed by 2025 at a cost of over Rs 1,800 crore, the Minister said.
The about 90,000 personnel strong ITBP was raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression and it is tasked to guard the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) on India’s eastern flank ranging from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from this, the force also has important roles in many other internal security theatres, including Left Wing Extremism-affected Chhattisgarh.