Rohtang tunnel to be ready in seven years: BRO
Shimla, Jul 4: The construction work on the nine-km-long Rohtang tunnel will begin from May next after receiving a report from SMEC International, an Australian Company roped in to provide consultancy services, official sources today said.
SMEC would prepare a design for the construction of the tunnel that would link Kullu with Lahaul Valley, which otherwise remains under snow for more than six months in a year.
The Australian firm had been assigned the task of preparing the project's design after it signed an agreement with the Border Road Organisation (BRO) on Thursday.
The sources said once the report was received, forest and environmental clearances would be taken before beginning the boring of the tunnel, which would be completed by 2014.
The work on the boring of the tunnel had been hanging fire for the last six years and its construction cost, which was estimated to be about Rs 900 crore, has touched the Rs 1,700 crore mark.
The project was sanctioned during the previous NDA government's tenure and the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid its foundation stone too.
The sources said work on the approach road to the tunnel had already begun, while clearance for the construction of a helipad was still awaited.
Besides, the tunnel, the BRO would also take up the construction work of at least three roads close to China border, in view of the growing threat from across the borders, the sources said.