Atal Tunnel is now ready after 10 years. It connects Manali to Leh reducing travel time by over 4 hours
The construction of Atal tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel above 10,000 feet, has been completed after 10 years. The tunnel construction was headed by the Rohtang Tunnel Project and has been named after late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The tunnel is 9 km long and will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometers decreasing travel time by 4 hours, as per KP Purushothaman, chief engineer of the project. It has been built at a cost of around Rs 3,200 crores and has emergency exits at every 500 metres. The tunnel has 1-metre footpaths on both sides. It is also equipped with CCV cameras and fire hydrants that can be used in case of emergencies.
It was originally proposed to be constructed in 6 years but took 10 years. The construction was carried out from both sides of the tunnel, considering the inclement weather and heavy snowfall at Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh, which makes it accessible for 4-5 months of the year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the infrastructure project in the last week of September. The all-weather tunnel is strategic in its geographical location that connects Manali and Leh.