New Delhi: In a significant move and cutting through the red-tape, the Union defence ministry has decided to ask the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to build a 4.25 km tunnel under the Shinkun La pass to make an all-weather axis from Manali to Leh via Darcha-Padun-Nimmu alignment to supply Indian Army formations in Ladakh sector. The snow-free axis is expected to be completed by 2024.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and top officials decided in favour of the BRO proposal instead of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), which was recommending an altogether new road alignment with a 13.5 km tunnel under Shinkun La. In March 2021, presentations were made before the minister both by BRO and NHIDCL. After studying both the proposals, the defence ministry has decided in favour of shorter tunnel.