Manali: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today visited the Atal Tunnel Rohtang and reviewed the progress work of the tunnel with the officers of the Border Road Organisation (BRO). 

Chief Minister asked the BRO officials to complete the work of tunnel before the month of September. PM Modi is to visit Himachal Pradesh to inaugurate the tunnel by the end of September this year. Chief Engineer BRO Brig. K.P. Purshothaman, VSM assured to complete the project in stipulated time period.

Atal Tunnel would provide 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 heavy snowfall on the passes enroute. This is extremely significant from the military logistics point of view.

Atal Tunnel project would be completed by spending an amount of Rs 3500 crore. The tunnel has reduced the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km. The tunnel has several user-friendly features which include an emergency escape tunnel, which has been built under the main tunnel. This would provide an emergency exit in case of any untoward incident, which may render the main tunnel unusable. The tunnel also provides a telephone facility on every 150 metres, fire hydrant on every 60 metres, emergency exit on every 500 metres, turning cavern on every 2.2 km, air quality monitoring on every one km, broadcasting system and automatic incident detection system with CCTV cameras on every 250 metres.

The originally Atal Tunnel was an 8.8-km long, but fresh GPS readings taken by the BRO after the work on it was completed, showed that it was 9 km in length. The tunnel would be the world’s longest on an altitude of 3,000 metres.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.