The construction of Atal tunnel connecting Manali with Leh at Rohtang Pass, has been now been completed after a span of 10 years. It is the world’s longest tunnel above 10,000 feet.
“Atal Tunnel, connecting Manali to Leh, is the world’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet. The estimated period for completion of this tunnel was less than six years but it was completed in 10 years,” said chief engineer KP Purushothaman.
“There are CCTV cameras at every 60 metres and emergency exit tunnels at every 500 metres inside the tunnel. The tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46km and four hours can be saved,” he added.
This tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometers and also reduce commute time. This tunnel will help the residents of both Lahaul and Spiti Valley which remain cut off from the nation during winters due to heavy snowfall.
Mr Purushothaman said the construction was a challenge but were able to complete it. The tunnel’s width which is 10.5 metres, includes footpath of 1 metre on both sides, he said.
The project was to be completed by February 2015 but tunnel faced geological problems due to which it got delayed.
Prime Minister Modi is set to inaugurate the tunnel late September.