“As the longest highway tunnel in the world, ‘Atal Tunnel’ will reduce the travel time between Leh and Manali by 4 – 5 hours. Being an all-weather tunnel, it will also connect Lahaul-Spiti valley with the rest of the country throughout the year which used to be cut off for months earlier.”

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on inauguration of the ‘Atal Tunnel’ and described it as an engineering marvel. In a series of tweets, Amit Shah said, “A historic day for the entire country as the vision of Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji comes true! Congratulations to BRO for working relentlessly on this unprecedented project.”

Amit Shah said, “As the longest highway tunnel in the world, ‘Atal Tunnel’ will reduce the travel time between Leh and Manali by 4-5 hours. Being an all-weather tunnel, it will also connect Lahaul-Spiti valley with the rest of the country throughout the year which used to be cut off for months earlier.”

The Union Home Minister said, “Atal Tunnel will prove to be a major boon for the entire region. People will now have access to better healthcare facilities, business opportunities and essential items. It will also strengthen our defence preparedness and generate employment by giving impetus to the tourism sector.”

The 9.02-kilometre-long tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 Mtrs (10,000 Feet) from Mean Sea Level (MSL). The Atal Tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 3,000 cars per day and 1,500 trucks per day, with maximum speed of 80 km/hr. It has state of the art electromechanical systems including semi transverse ventilation, SCADA controlled firefighting, illumination and monitoring systems. The tunnel has ample safety features built into it.

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