Atal tunnel marks the longest highway tunnel in the world. This is what you need to know about it.

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Harsirat Kaur
Harsirat Kaur
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Atal Tunnel is a new finished endeavor of the Indian government. We have seen the BJP  involved with new infrastructural developments. These include the RRTS train, Virgin Hyperloop (ongoing), and now Atal Tunnel. Hence, this shows that the government spends most of its expenditure on modern infrastructure. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel at Rohtang in Himachal Pradesh. The tunnel will pass from Rohtang pass and will connect Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley. The longest highway tunnel in the world is 9.02 km long.

PM Modi inaugurated the Atal tunnel
The inside of Atal Tunnel–Source: The Indian Express

PM Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel

PM Narendra Modi inaugurated this year-long efficient train which will reduce the travel distance from Manali to Leh by four or five hours. He cut the ribbon alongside Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General MM Naravane, and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur. This inauguration marks the beginning of a new transport world in the mountains. Also, PM Modi expressed that Atal Tunnel was the dream of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Just like other historic things he has done, he called the inauguration day “a historic day.”

He said the tunnel will strengthen India’s border infrastructure. Furthermore, KP Purushothaman Chief Engineer, Border Roads Organization said, “This is a very proud moment. The hard work that BRO put in in the last 10 years is reaching its final stage. This tunnel is an example of Atmanirbhar Bharat.”

The salient features of the tunnel

Quoting KP Purushothaman, the highway has 18 egress tunnels with an opening in case of emergency every 500 meters. Hence, this will give enough opportunity to escape if a fire happens. He said, “the tunnels are clearly marked and one can easily find out where is the egress tunnel.”

PM Modi inaugurated the Atal tunnel

The tunnel has ultra-modern features in the Pir Pinjal region. The South portal of the Atal tunnel is located at a distance of 25 km from Manali. Whereas, the North Portal is located near village Teling, Sissu in Lahaul valley at an altitude of 3,071 meters. The tunnel is horseshoe-shaped and has an overhead clearance of 5.525 meters. Also, it can occupy 3000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day with a maximum speed of 80 kmph. The total cost to complete the project amounts to Rs. 3,200 crore. The highway has a semi-transverse ventilation system, as well.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee took the decision to make this tunnel on June 3, 2000. Subsequently, BRO set the foundation stone on May 26, 2002. Hence, this tunnel memorizes the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the hope of a better India.


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