The Atal Rohtang Tunnel, an important from strategic and security point of view, built under the Rohtang Pass is the longest high-altitude road tunnel in the world. Now, this tunnel has been completed by Border Road Organization (BRO) and It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late September.
This Atal Rohtang Tunnel has been named after former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
This Atal Rohtang Tunnel, built at an altitude of 10,171 feet, has been built by connecting it to Rohtang Pass. It is the world’s highest and longest road tunnel. It is about 8.8 km long. It is also 10 meters wide.
This tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kms. Now a journey from Manali valley to Laual and Spiti valley, which normally took more than five hours would now be completed in little over 10 minutes.
The tunnel will also provide a high degree of all weather connectivity to Leh and forward areas of Ladakh, which remain cut off for nearly six months from the rest of the country due to snow on the passes enroute. This is extremely significant from the military logistics point of view.
Due to this tunnel, the Indian troops deployed in Ladakh will get the most benefit. Because of this, arms and logistics will be easily supplied even in winter. Now this route will also be able to supply goods to the soldiers in Ladakh.
Within this tunnel, any vehicle will be able to run at a maximum speed of 80 kms per hour. The construction of this tunnel was started on 28 June 2010. It has been built by the Border Road Organization (BRO). This tunnel is built in the shape of a horse shoe.
The engineers and staff of Border Road Organization (BRO) had to put a lot of effort to construct this tunnel because it used to be very difficult to work here in winter. The temperature here used to go up to minus 30 degrees.
During the construction of this tunnel, 8 lakh cubic meters of stone and soil were extracted. In summer, five meters per day were excavated. But in winter it was reduced to half a meter.
This tunnel has been constructed in such a way that 3000 cars and 1,500 trucks can pass through the Atal Tunnel at 80 km per hour. The cost of the project has escalated from Rs 1,700 crore in 2010 to almost its double to Rs 3,200 crore by September 2020.
State-of-the-art Australian tunneling methods have been used inside the tunnel. The ventilation system is also based on Australian technology.
DRDO has also helped in designing this tunnel so that snow and avalanche does not affect it. This tunnel has very advance technology support system which provides a telephone every 150 metres, fire hydrant every 60 metres, emergency exit every 500 metres, turning cavern every 2.2 km, air quality monitoring system every one km, broadcasting system and automatic incident detection system with CCTV cameras every 250 metres.