Atal Tunnel Rohtang is a tunnel built under famous Rohtang Pass on Leh – Manali Highway in Himachal Pradesh, India.This tunnel is also known as Rohtang Tunnel on the Leh–Manali Highway. It falls in eastern Pir Panjal range of Himalaya. Total length of Atal Tunnel is 9.02 KM. The altitude of Atal Tunnel is about 3100 Meters from sea level. And its longest tunnel in the world above this height.
The tunnel was named after the name of former prime minister Mr. Atal Bihari Bajpayee to honor the contribution made by him.
Atal Tunnel has now become a famous tourist place as well. The visits of tourist increased in the area after the inauguration of this beautiful tunnel.
Atal Tunnel reduces the distance and time.
This highway tunnel reduces the distance between Manali and Keylong by 45 KM. Previously the distance between Manali and Keylong through Rohtang pass was about 116 KM a about 6 hours drive. And now through this tunnel this distances is reduced to 71 Km only that can be covered in 2 hours. This saves about 4 hours time to reach Keylong from Manali.
The Atal Tunnel was competed in 10 years by BRO (Border Road Organization). The work was started on 28 June 2010, and completed on 03 Oct 2020.
All weather connectivity between Manali and Kelong in the route to Leh.
Due to this tunnel now the route Manali – Leh will remain open almost whole year even during winters. The Previous route through Rohtang pass, during winter remains closed for 4-6 months due to heavy snowfall. Rohtang pass is at a height of 3,978 metres (13,051 ft) where as Height of Atal Tunnel from sea level is 3,100 metres (10,171 ft).
The South Portal (SP) of Atal Tunnel is twenty five Kilometers far from Manali at an height of 3060 metres, whereas the North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Spiti Distt of HP at an height of 3071 Metres from sea level.
Also Read: Things To See And Do When In Kullu Manali
History of Atal Tunnel
The decision of construction of Tunnel was taken by the former prime minister Mr. Atal Bihari Bajpayee during his visit to Lahaul on 3rd June 2000. Foundation stone for approach read to south portal of tunnel was laid in June 2002.
Former chair person of National Advisory Council, SMT Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone of the Tunnel Project 28 june 2010. The tunnel digging process was done from both portals of tunnel.
The tunnel was earlier known as Rohtang Tunnel. On 25 Dec 2019 the The tunnel was officially renamed after the name of former prime minister as Atal Tunnel by cabinet.
The entire project of Atal Tunnel was complete on 3 Oct 2020. And The tunnel was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi.
Specifications and safety measures at Atal Tunnel
Atal Tunnel ensures the all weather route to Lahaul Velly and Leh. It is double lane Horse shoe shaped tunnel. It is 10 meters wide (8 meter roadway and 1 meter pavement on both side of road). Altitude of the Atal Tunnel is 3100 m or 10,170 ft.
Also, it is 10.5-metre wide and includes a 3.6 x 2.25 metres fire-proof emergency egress tunnel designed into the most tunnel itself. There are eighteen egress tunnels wherever once each five hundred metres there’s a gap just in case of emergency. If any fireplace incident happens thus very first thing is however the individuals stucked are to be saved. For that there’s an entry at each five hundred metres. Atal Tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 3000 cars per day and 1500 trucks per day.
The tunnel has ample safety options designed into it as well, as phone connections at every one hundred fifty metres for emergency communication, hydrant mechanisms at each sixty Metres, auto incident detection system with CCTV cameras at each 250 metres, air quality monitoring at every kilo meter, evacuation lighting/exit signs and broadcasting system throughout the tunnel among others.
Also Read: Best places to travel in Himachal in winters
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