Rohtang, October 3: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel at Rohtang in Himachal Pradesh at 10 am. The Atal Tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in the world. The 9.02 Km long tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. Earlier the valley was cut off for about 6 months each year owing to heavy snowfall. The Atal tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3000 Mtrs (10,000 Feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL). Atal Tunnel: Here's All You Need to Know About the World's Longest Highway Tunnel.
During his address, the Prime Minister said that Atal tunnel will give new strength to India's border infrastructure. He added saying that it is an example of world-class border connectivity. "There have been demands to improve border infrastructure but for a long time, such projects either couldn't get out of planning stage or got stuck midway", Modi said.
Atal Tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 3000 cars per day and 1500 trucks per day with max speed of 80 km/hr. The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 Kms between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours. The South Portal (SP) of Atal Tunnel is located at a distance of 25 Km from Manali at an altitude of 3060 Mtrs, while the North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is located near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3071 Mtrs.
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— ANI (@ANI) October 3, 2020
PM Narendra Modi at Atal Tunnel: See Pics:
Himachal Pradesh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Atal Tunnel, Rohtang
It is the longest highway tunnel in the world built at an altitude of 3000 meters. The 9.02 Km long tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley pic.twitter.com/yh2KmITCSB
— ANI (@ANI) October 3, 2020
The Tunnel has ample safety features built into it. Some of the key safety features are:
- Tunnel entry barriers at both portals
- Telephone connections at every 150 meters for emergency communication.
- Fire hydrant mechanisms at every 60 meters.
- Auto incident detection system with CCTV cameras at every 250 meters.
- Air quality monitoring at every 1 km.
- Evacuation lighting / exit signs at every 25 meters.
- Broadcasting system throughout the tunnel.
- Fire rated Dampers at every 50 meters.
- Cameras installed at every 60 meters.
The decision to construct a strategic Atal tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 03, 2000 when late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002. On December 24, 2019, the Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met and decided to name the Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel to honour the contribution made by the former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.