India to see massive strategic tunnel construction

22 October 2020

India plans to build up to ten tunnels totalling over 100km to facilitate year-round military movements in the high altitude regions of Ladakh and Kashmir.

Some of the tunnels will lie at altitudes of well over 5,000m and include the 7km Khardung La Tunnel which will lie in a strategically important area bordering both China and Pakistan.

An 8km ‘all-weather’ tunnel is proposed to connect Karu to Ladakh, while another proposal for the 7km Nimmu-Darcha-Padam Road through the Shnku La Pass is planned.

Alternate connectivity is the aim of the planned tunnel between Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) and Depsang Plains in eastern Ladakh. Other tunnels planned will lie on the Manali-Leh highway and include excavated lengths of 13.7km, 14.7km and 7.32km.

Construction has already started on the 14km tunnel through the Zojila Pass and on the tunnel between Sasser-Brengasa to Murgo which will reduce a 25km journey to 10km.

The areas in which the tunnels are proposed have seen huge military build-ups following the continuing border tension with China which resumed in May.