On the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Dec 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Rohtang tunnel, which will connect Manali in Himachal Pradesh with Leh, Ladakh, and Jammu Kashmir, will be known as Atal Tunnel.
Nevertheless, not many people know what the massive 8.8 Km tunnel is all about. So here’s is everything you need to know about the same.
An Emotional Connection
The foundation stone for the project was laid on July 28, 2010, and has been dedicated to former Prime Minister Ajal Bihari Vajpayee. As per a release by the government, Atal Ji was a frequent visitor to Manali and inaugurated various development projects in the city during his tenure.
After his demise in 2018, the Prime Minister’s office has constantly kept track of the project. The tunnel is expected to be ready for an official inauguration by September 2020.
What’s Special About Rohtang Tunnel
Rohtang Tunnel aka Atal Tunnel upon completion will sharply reduce the distance between Leh and Manali by 46 kilometres. This will save money, time and allow all-season connection to remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh.
As of now, many regions from the aforementioned state and UT remain cut off from the country for over six months due to heavy rainfall and traveling woes.
Once completed, the 8.8km highway tunnel will be the world’s longest highway tunnel at an altitude of above 10,000 feet (3,000 metres). The same will allow at least 3,000 cars and 1,500 trucks to commute easily on a daily basis.
The Rohtang tunnel is one of the engineering marvels. The tunnel has features like a telephone at every 150 meteres, emergency exit at every 500 metres, turning cavern every 2.2. km, air quality monitoring system at every 1km, CCTV at every 250 metres and much more.