The Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Road Transport along with the Border Road Organization (BRO) are planning to build the country’s first road-rail undersea tunnels across the Brahmaputra River in Assam at an estimated cost of Rs 7,000 crore. The project will consist of three parallel tunnels, one for road, another for rail and the third for emergency use.
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The tunnels will be 9.8 kilometers each and this will be the first project where the construction of integrated tunnels will be undertaken. These tunnels will be interconnected with a cross passage for emergency evacuation. It can be used for civilian and strategic purposes.
The multimodal transport system aims to integrate the rail and road network across the Jamurihat-Silghat axis to northern Assam, Tawang and the rest of Arunachal Pradesh. The tunnel will start about 9 km upstream from the existing road bridge at Kaliabomara (Tezpur) and will connect Jakhlabandha railway station on the southern bank and Dhaliabil railway station on the northern bank of Brahmaputra.
The proposed tunnels will be built using tunnel boring machines and could take around two to two and a half years. This will reduce travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Currently, there are five bridges over the Brahmaputra.