The length of the existing road from Bhalukpung to Tawang is 285 km, however, the railway line would measure only 166 km. Almost 80% of the railway line would pass through tunnels, the longest tunnel being 29.48 km.
Indian Railways is planning to build a new railway line in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district. This railway line is being planned at a height of 10,000 feet! Once complete, the new railway line would considerably reduce the travel time to Tawang. The length of the existing road from Bhalukpung to Tawang is 285 km, however, the railway line would measure only 166 km. Almost 80% of the railway line would pass through tunnels, the longest tunnel being 29.48 km. As the strategic location of the district is close to the international border with China, the project is likely to be implemented on a priority basis, according to an HT report.
The project was discussed last week when Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain met a team of Northeastern Frontier Railways (NFR) along with Chief Minister Pema Khandu to review the status of railway projects in the state. Tawang town, which is the headquarters of the district with the same name is situated at an elevation of 3,048 metres above sea level. Popular among tourists, the place is also a sacred site for Buddhists. The Bumla Pass, which is 37 km from away from Tawang, marks the India-China border.
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In order to shorten the distance, the railways have also suggested two-lane roads along all the tunnels to be developed on the line. In Arunachal Pradesh, survey on 11 new railway lines is in progress while two other surveys have been completed already. Out of these, the Bhalukpung-Tenga-Tawang railway line, the Pasighat-Tezu-Parasuramkund-Rupai railway line and the Silapathar-Bame-Aalo railway line have been identified by the NSCS (National Security Council Secretariat). The report also stated that the amount for the development of these lines are being funded by the Defence Ministry. Gohain was quoted in the report saying that, once the survey is completed and formalities are cleared, the Bhalukpung-Tenga-Tawang line is likely to be ready in 6-7 years.